Youngster lifting her way to weightlifting super-stardom
WEIGHTLIFTING: In just a few short months Ailish Rice, 16, has found her niche in her chosen sport.
The youngster finished third in the recent Queensland Under-17 State Championship in weightlifting after she took up that sport as well as CrossFit in February.
Her finish on the podium was a pleasant surprise.
"Even though I only went to have fun, gain experience and try to beat a few of my personal-bests, I ended up placing third," Rice said.
That was enough for her to get selected for Queensland for the Youth U17 National Championship on September 28 in Brisbane.
Both sports of CrossFit and weightlifting complement each other well.
"Weightlifting is a big component of CrossFit, but Olympic weightlifting is also its own sport with its own competitions in the two lifts which are the clean and jerk and snatch," Rice said.
Rice works out at CrossFit Tannum Sands (Raw Movement) under the guidance of Reede McHugh.
The gym is also like her second home.
"Reede introduced me to both CrossFit and weightlifting at Raw Movement and the gym is one of my favourite places," Rice said.
"Thanks to him and the other coaches, I feel like I've been a part of the sport for years, not months."
There was a third sport which also helped with her development.
"I was previously a gymnast for about four or five months before my club closed down," Rice said.
She explained how the strength and flexibility she gained from gymnastics had helped her develop the technique required for weightlifting.
Rice had looked up to World Champion Tia-Clair Toomey.
"She's a huge inspiration as both an amazing female athlete in a more male-dominated sport like weightlifting and also as someone who started out in the small Gladstone Region," Rice said.