Commonwealth Games 2022: University of Brighton students preparing to compete for Weightlifting gold

A student from the University of Brighton will be joining Team England for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this week.

Ben Hickling, currently studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, has been selected for the England weightlifting team – competing in the Men's 55kg category.

Ben started weightlifting after he was asked to go along to a training session to keep a friend company.

He said: “I saw someone else weightlifting, asked them who their coach was and the rest is history – but I never dreamed I would be competing at the Commonwealth Games. Weightlifting is a good fun way to keep fit, while helping to forget the stresses in life."

Ben Hickling, currently studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, has been selected for the England weightlifting team competing in the Men's 55kg category. a class in which he is currently ranked UK number one.

The Brighton student is currently ranked UK number one in the 55Kg class, winning the British Weight Lifting Championships 2021.

His best in-competition total as a lifter in that category is 211kg, which he made at this year’s England Commonwealth Trials, comprising a 96kg snatch and a 115kg clean and jerk.

The University of Brighton student said: “Whether you want to compete, keep fit or just have fun, Brighton is a great place for sport and being active.

"The sports scholarship programme has given me the support I need to train and compete at the highest level while studying for my degree. Huge thanks to everyone at the University of Brighton for all their support.”

Jessica will compete for Team England in the 59kg category, where she is also ranked number one in the UK.

Student Ben will be one of three people linked to University of Brighton joining Team England for the Commonwealth Games.

He will be joined in the weightlifting competition by Brighton alumna Jessica Gordon-Brown, who graduated in 2018 with BSc (Hons) Product Design with Professional Experience.

Jessica will compete for Team England in the 59kg category, where she is also ranked number one in the UK.

Jessica’s best in-competition total is 202kg, made at the England Commonwealth Trials, with a 91kg snatch and a 111kg clean and jerk.

The Brighton Alumni member only took up weightlifting in 2017 after time as an elite competitor in gymnastics and then judo.

The Brighton Alumni member only took up weightlifting in 2017 after time as an elite competitor in gymnastics and then judo.

She was twice a National Acrobatic Gymnastics Champion, before competing in judo at the 2015 Senior European Cup.

Jess said: “I'm really excited to be part of Team England. We have a really strong team this year - and it’s nice to be alongside fellow Brighton student Ben.”

On the University of Brighton staff side, Colin Paterson will also be heading to Birmingham as part of Team England for his fifth time working as a physiotherapist at the Commonwealth Games.

Colin Paterson, principal lecturer in the School of Sport and Health Sciences at University of Brighton, said: “I will be coordinating the physiotherapy aspect of the medical team for Team England, and also specifically supporting the weightlifting team.

"It will be great to follow through my work with Ben at University of Brighton at the Commonwealth Games. I am grateful for University of Brighton supporting me to attend the games in this role.”

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The 2022 Commonwealth Games start this week in Birmingham on Thursday (July 28) and will run until Monday, August 8.

Ben will be competing on Saturday (July 30) and Jess on Sunday (July 31).