A College of North East London (CONEL) student will travel to Northumberland to represent England at the Junior Four Nations Powerlifting Championships in Ashington on April 21st.
Tottenham resident and former pupil of St David and St Katharine School, Guy Djedje, can lift up to 265 kg, well over double his own bodyweight. At the championships, he will face competitors from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
He shows promise as a footballer but a teacher at CONEL suggested that Guy 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, with Guy competing 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 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."
Guy's tutor, Chris Barry, points out the value of his student's efforts at powerlifting and understanding about anatomy and the importance of a balanced diet. "Your own fitness and physique is vital. if you want people to take your advice in your work, then your body really is your front window."
Chris rates Guy as an excellent student and athlete, who is making smart career choices. He sees many young people with ambitions that are immensely difficult to achieve. "At school, everyone dreams of becoming a professional footballer. Guy is a talented footballer but college has opened up different possibilities for him," Chris says. "He started on one path but didn't get demoralised when he found himself heading in a new direction. Now he's representing England in the Four Nations Powerlifting Championship and looking at a bright future in sport as a physiotherapist."
Chris says that on the BTEC in Sport, students find a range of career opportunities opening up to them: physiotherapist, nutritionist, personal trainer or teacher. "Their chosen sport depends on the work of different professionals, a whole range of behind-the-scenes roles," Chris explains. "They can play an important part and make a living, being involved in something that really interests them. Not everyone can be the next Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott or Wayne Rooney. There are varied opportunities for specialists to work in the sport and leisure industry and Guy is on the right course for a very fulfilling career."