All you need to know about UCC Olympic Weightlifting

What is Olympic Weightlifting I hear you ask?  Olympic Weightlifting, or just Weightlifting, is an Olympic strength sport in which an athlete completes two complex lifting manoeuvres of a barbell loaded with weight plates.  These two lifts are called the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk.  Both begin with the barbell on the ground and finish with it above the lifter’s head (hopefully!), combining strength, technique, balance and mobility, while engaging multiple muscle groups.

The snatch is a carried out in one swift movement overhead, using a wide-grip.  In contrast, the clean and jerk is carried out in two subsequent movements.  Firstly from the ground to the shoulders, then finishing with the bar overhead.

In competitions, athletes are categorised by sex and bodyweight.  The athletes carry out three attempts of each lift, and the heaviest successful lift of each type are combined to make a total.  Moreover, a bodyweight/weight lifted ratio (called a Sinclair score) can be calculated, which allows for the comparison of athletes across different weight categories, and thus the determining of best overall lifters.


What we do in the UCC Olympic Weightlifting Club?  We teach and train in the two main lifts, as well as doing plenty of accessory work in strength and mobility to support them, during our daily training sessions.  We are lucky enough to have developed a fun, diverse club in its five years of existence. We have members of all ages, genders and nationalities, training and developing alongside each other. We also like to eat copious amounts of burritos and organise various events for our little community and the wider student body.


The club is currently in high spirits following a successful weekend at the National Intervarsity Championships in Galway.  It was a great event, which was run by Weightlifting Ireland and hosted by NUIG Olympic Weightlifting Club.  It was great to see so many beginners from all colleges competing, and our own beginners did very well, along with our more experienced lifters.

Our medal winners were as follows:

Michael O’Duibhur – Gold in Men’s 109kg+

Ian Byrne – Silver in Men’s 109kg

Freya Hammer – Gold in Women’s 81kg and Best Overall Female Lifter

Ellen Clancy – Gold in Women’s 76kg

Isobel Kenny – Silver in Women’s 81kg

Holly Hayes – Bronze in Women’s 87kg

We were delighted with everyone who competed, and are getting back to training this week in preparation for our next competition, the Munster Open in April.