It has been a great weekend for Strength Academy Wales with the news two of their coaching staff have won British Weightlifting Annual Achievement Awards.

Stephen Donovan was named Technical Offical of the Year whilst Simon Roach scooped the Community Coach of the Year honour.

The duo would normally have picked up their awards at the British Championships this summer, although the ceremony is now likely to be put back due to the Coronvirus pandemic.

Their recognition however, is testament to the success of the SAW centre that this current enforced break aside, has been running daily classes for lifters of a diverse range of abilities.

Donovan, who has been present at every national British national competition in 2019, is heavily involved at SAW and also officiates Welsh Weightlifting events. He has represented both Wales and Great Britain at International competitions such as the Commonwealth Games (Australia 2018) and has travelled to countries like Israel for European competitions.

"I was very surprised by the news but also delighted," said Donovan.

"You don't do these things to win awards you do them to enjoy yourself and meet new people. So I'm very grateful.

"I just had an e-mail telling me I'd won it but asking if I could keep that quiet until the weekend. It was all quite strange but we'll get an award later on."

Roach meanwhile, has over 30 years’ experience as a competitor and coach that has seen him on the Welsh staff for five consecutive Commonwealth Games. He plays an instrumental part at SAW - and the club now boasts a broad base of recreational members that extends beyond the competition scene. Ages range from 11 to 85, and Roach has carefully planned training programmes tailored with fitness and health goals in mind, and regularly supports lifters competing at national age-group competitions and grassroots events.

“Firstly, I am delighted to see that Stephen has been awarded the Technical Official of the Year. He has a fantastic level of passion, commitment and knowledge of Weightlifting. He is a very good friend and is a fantastic ambassador of the sport," he said.

"I was so surprised to be given the Community Coach of the year award and feel very privileged and honoured. I have been a part of weightlifting for many years and have been involved in many aspects of the sport, competing, coaching, refereeing, team manager roles and developing the sport throughout Wales.

"I enjoy all areas of my work, but especially volunteering my time working with the many talented and aspiring weightlifters in Pembrokeshire."