A College of North East London (CONEL) student Guy Djedje has made his mark on the competitive world of powerlifting this month after an impressive victory at the Junior Four Nations in Northumberland.
Guy, who was representing England, not only won his weight class, he also lifted personal bests in all three of his lifting disciplines. This suggests there is much more to come from this impressive young athlete. His performance earned him the Best Lifter of the Tournament Award (similar to Best Player of the Tournament in football competitions).
Tottenham resident and former pupil of St David and St Katharine School, Guy, can lift up to 265 kg, well over double his own bodyweight. At the championships, he saw off other competitors from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Guy acknowledges the help he has had from CONEL tutors in his sports career so far. He had always shown promise as a footballer but a teacher at CONEL suggested that he had the right physique to become a powerlifter. "I was offered an induction, so I researched it and decided to give it a go," he says. "From the start I was lifting some very heavy weights."
Junior powerlifters compete in categories for their age group and at almost 19, Guy is among the Under 20s. These groups are ranked into further categories according to the weight of the competitors. Guy competed in the 100kg to 110kg range.
He has taken part in four competitions in one year and in his first competition, he qualified for the Four Nations Championship.
At CONEL, he is studying for the BTEC National Diploma in Sport, which will take him on to university if he chooses higher education. Guy once shared a dream with many young people to become a professional footballer. His course has opened routes to other practical career possibilities, "I want to study at university to become a physiotherapist and this course has helped me in reaching a decision," he says. "I used to just eat anything but now I?m very careful about diet, as you really have to know about your body. I studied during my first BTEC Diploma and realised that I was interested in knowing more about how the body works."