Limerick pair to battle for title of Ireland’s strongest man

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

AFTER nine months of training in an old shed, two Newcastle West men have made it into the final of a competition to find Ireland’s strongest man.

AFTER nine months of training in an old shed, two Newcastle West men have made it into the final of a competition to find Ireland’s strongest man.

Trevor Sexton and Patrick O’Dwyer will go bicep-to-bicep with some of the country’s most seasoned strongman veterans in June after they made it through the regional heat in Tipperary on March 31.

The pair have reaped the rewards of months of training at least six times per week in an old shed in Monagea, which has been converted and fitted out with enough weights to make even the most ardent gym monkey faint.

Trevor said that while he was always interested in fitness, the strongman bug only bit recently.

“I remember about two years ago they had a huge strongman competition out in the racecourse. I went along to watch that, and really liked the look of it. But we only really started training properly for it eight or nine months ago. Myself and Patrick train away together in an old shed at least six times a week.”

The pair went up against 25 other competitors in four different events at the provincial qualifiers in Fethard. Each of the contests was more gruelling than the last: as well as traditional dead lifting – in which Trevor clocked up 260kg – the pair had to carry a 143kg stone slab for as long as possible, toss sand filled kegs ranging from between 10kg and 25kg over a four-metre high bar, and lift a 64kg dumbbell over their head.

The qualifier was Trevor’s first competitive strongman event, and he said that he was “delighted” to finish eighth overall. Patrick, meanwhile, placed fifth overall.

The pair will now go forward to take part in the Republic of Ireland national finals in Ballincollig, Cork on June 16.

Following their success, they have secured sponsorship from Coliseum Sports Nutrition, which is run by Moss McAuliffe of Newcastle West, and have now thrown themselves into preparing for the national finals.

“The finals will be a different ball game again. The starting weight for the dead lift is 250kg, and there’s lads who’ll lift over 300. There’s the car dead lift as well – you’ve to lift up a one tonne car from the back on a frame.”

Trevor last year set up his own personal training business in Newcastle West, which he said is “going better than I could have expected”, due to its popularity on Facebook.

He said that his clients range from people trying to lose weight to athletes looking to build strength and conditioning.

“It doesn’t really matter how fit you are, or if you’ve done any kind of training before,” he said.