Oscar (15) wins gold in Cork
A Newtown teenager looks on course to set the world of Paralympic powerlifting alight after managing to win his category at a national event in Cork having just started powerlifting twelve weeks beforehand.
Fifteen-year-old Oscar Hancock, who has cerebral palsy, was taken under the wing of Paralympic powerlifting ace Reg Byrne from Bray who had specifically set out to find a youngster to coach and to promote the sport he loves.
Just twelve short weeks after beginning training, Oscar has managed to win the J1 category at the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Championships Annual Push Pull Competition in Cork, where he managed to lift 57kg – despite the fact that he only weighs 50kg himself.
‘He had never done a sport in his life before this,’ said proud coach Reg, who also won his Masters event in Cork. ‘He was delighted with himself and we’re all over the moon for him. It’s mind boggling what the experience meant to him. The crowd went wild for him and he had everyone coming up congratulating him. It was pretty special.’
Reg said that Oscar shows a natural aptitude for the sport and is committed to training.
‘He’s a member of our powerlifting club now and he comes in and trains with me three times a week,’ he said. ‘Each session lasts roughly around two-and-a-half hours and he’s come on in leaps and bounds in the last few weeks. When he first came in he could hardly lift a bar and for him to go on and win his category in Cork in such a short period of time was a massive achievement.’
Next on the agenda for Oscar is to get official classification from the IPL world body and then his thoughts will turn to the Junior Para Games where he will be hoping for more success.
Oscar Hancock and his coach Reg Byrne after winning their powerlifting events in Cork