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Lifting the weight of success

By Sheree Hoddinett 


How heavy can you lift? If you’re anything like Bribie’s Levi Davidson, you’re well on your way to becoming a champ. Levi was just nine-years-old when he began his journey in the world of weightlifting. In his very first competition Levi lifted an 18kg snatch and a 22kg clean and jerk. Fast forward to 2023 and at the age of 15, Levi has nabbed first place in the U15 Olympic Weightlifting National Championships in Perth lifting a 75kg snatch and a 100kg clean and jerk at just 75kg body weight. 


It’s not every day you come across a youngster who is dedicated to a sport like weightlifting, but Levi is fully invested in the domain and already has big plans for the future. He currently trains three days a week for 1.5 hours per session, runs 5km two mornings each week, uses the gym at his school (St Columban’s) and trains five days a week at CrossFit Bribie Island. The draw card of weightlifting being a fun sport and the added bonus of being coached by his aunt was the reasoning behind Levi’s foray into weightlifting. 


“I like to see my numbers go up and hit heavy weight,” Levi says of what draws him in to loving the sport that has become a big part of his life. “I want to compete in as many competitions as I can and gain experience in all situations.” 


With his recent win in Perth still fresh in his mind, Levi also hopes to one day go to the Olympics.  


“It feels really great because I feel like my training has paid off,” Levi says of his win in Perth. “Eventually my goal is to hit the elite total for the body weight category I end up in.” 


Levi’s win in Perth has also been highly commended by the Queensland team coach Leanne Knox. 


“Levi displayed excellent control of both his technique and competition mindset at Nationals and broke his personal bests, being a fantastic asset to the Queensland Weightlifting team,” she says. 


While he gains some inspiration from weightlifting competitions he watches on YouTube, what else goes through Levi’s head before he attempts a lift? 


“Whatever my coach has told me I need to do or to not let the bar go before the buzzer,” he says.  


Levi’s aunt and head coach at Bribie Island Weightlifting Club, Jade Sharp is a former weightlifter herself. She enjoys being able to coach others in the sport and helping them achieve their own goals. Watching Levi find his own success, especially most recently in Perth, has shown Jade exactly why she continues to be a part of the weightlifting arena. 


“As a coach, I’m so happy with his dedication and commitment to training,” she says. “We focus on the notion that consistency over time leads to success and Levi has certainly proven that over the years. As an aunty, I’m so just proud of him and so happy for him.” 


Not only is she a proud coach and aunt, but Jade is the founder of the Bribie Island Weightlifting Club, which currently has about 20 members.  


“It used to be a part of my commercial business and I turned the weightlifting aspect of my business into a not-for-profit club with the help of some great volunteers including my Mum (Levi’s Nanna) Maree Davidson,” Jade says. “I did this so that the community will have the sport and club, long after I’m gone. 

“Weightlifting is an overlooked sport, especially for youth. There was an old myth that weightlifting had negative effects on youth physical development and some people still believe this, however this has been disproven though sports science research many times and it’s shown to be very advantageous for all athletes to be using weightlifting as part of their athletic development, including gymnastics!” 


So, what is it about weightlifting that makes it stand out from other sports? 


“In weightlifting, it's not about the flashiest gear or cutting-edge facilities; weightlifters often thrive in modest settings, training in small sheds with ageing equipment,” Jade says. “Success in weightlifting is about the athlete who embraces the grind, over years, over decades. The grind is repetition, heavy weight, bad days, hot sheds, work, school, training, recover, repeat. It’s a tough sport but a sport that challenges and changes people for the better.” 

With great support from the City of Moreton Bay Council, in particular Councillor Brooke Savige, Bribie Island Weightlifting Club now has their own shed to train out of at the AFL grounds on the Island.   

“One day a week (because we are growing!) we also train at CrossFit Bribie Island,” Jade says. “They are great supporters of our club, who allow us to use their space for training and competitions (fee free).”  


To find out more you can visit the Bribie Island Weightlifting Club website and Facebook page You can also find further information about CrossFit Bribie Island at 

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