Powerlifter has a passion

Cass Pickard says hello to her son and daughter who, along with their St Brigids classmates, welcomed her home at the Emerald Airport.
Cass Pickard says hello to her son and daughter who, along with their St Brigids classmates, welcomed her home at the Emerald Airport. Rebekah Yelland

POWERLIFTING: A world title at her first world championships meant Cass Pickard returned home with a swag of medals for her efforts.

Last month Emerald powerlifting champion returned from Belarus with gold, bronze and silver medals around her neck and a sense of achievement having won gold overall and second in masters.

Now after much-needed time off, Pickard is back in the gym working hard while she eyes off her goals on her focus board.

She said following a competition she sits down with her coach Joe Matthews from RealFitt Gym to discuss upcoming competitions, realistic numbers and start sketching out a plan to achieve this. Right now discussions are centred on nationals in October.

"Depending on finances I'd like to finish the year competing in Oceania at Singapore, this would be defending my -63kg open title I won last year in New Zealand,” she said.

"Big goal would be worlds next year in Canada, coach and I are thinking about entering in the -63kg open division not M1, this is a whole different ball game.

"To make the top 10 in the opens in the world would be huge, to achieve this I'd have to get all my lifts, so lots of work to do before we make a decision but it's looking very realistic.”

Reflecting on her recent two-week trip which she made with husband Hamish, who she calls her "rock she can always count on”, Pickard said despite it being her best result she was disappointed with her numbers.

"I had some very specific numbers I wanted with each of my lifts with the overall goal to win the championship,” she said.

"I won the championship but actually missed every goal on each of my lifts. It was a very bitter sweet experience to be honest.

"In saying that knowing I have way more in the tank its pretty exciting.”

Pickard said the moment her achievements sank in was when she returned to Emerald to a warm welcome from her two kids and supporters.

"That was when it sunk in, that moment I have relived and it will go down in my memories as an all-time amazing experience,” she said. The welcome topped off the community support Pickard and her family had received to compete at the championships.

"This is actually a very expensive sport and to be honest we were tapped out,” she said.

"In powerlifting you pay for the privilege to compete for your country.

"I'd even considered giving up competing until I got talked into doing a fundraiser.”

It was thanks to the fundraising efforts and help from friend Jo Gibbons to look after their kids that Pickard and her husband were both able to travel to the competition, a first for the couple.

"It felt like a massive weight had lifted, I didn't realise how stressed I was about going on my own,” she said.

"You go as part of the Australian team but most of the lifters you don't know and because the competition went for two weeks, athletes were flying in on different days depending which day they were competing on.

"Every competition my husband puts a Team Pickard shirt on with Rip it up Babe on the front and records every lift for me to analyse and critique together later in the day. I'm very lucky to be married to my best friend and have his support 110%.”

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