A LAW student from Meifod has become a Welsh powerlifting champion.

Laura Andrew, 20, broke two records at the her first national competition at the Welsh Championships 2018 in Cardiff last month.

The University of Chester student became Welsh champion in her Under 57kg class and broke the total record by 5kg.

Powerlifting is a sport that involves three lifts – squat, bench and deadlift.

“It’s a very empowering women’s sport,” said Laura.

“You don’t see many women lifting, maybe because there’s a stereotype. It’s an amazing sport and the powerlifting community is so supportive.”

Laura says she started powerlifting to improve her fitness and to help de-stress from her studies.

“I’ve always been a competitive person. It makes me train harder, eat well and gives me something to aspire for when I take time out from my course.”

Since entering her first competition in November, Laura has caught the competing fever. At the Welsh Championships in April, she broke the record by 25kg with a 110kg squat, benched 45kg and deadlifted 107kg to become the 2018 champion in her weight category.

“I didn’t believe it at first! I have never done 110kg before so that was absolutely amazing. To become Welsh champion was one of the best moments I’ve ever had. It was really amazing and my Mum and Dad were so proud of me. It was the first time they’d seen me compete and although they’re not competitive people, they were well into it!”

Laura is coached by the 2017 All England Powerlifting Under-23 Champion, Emily Whittington from Newtown and trains at The Armoury sports centre in Welshpool.

“Emily is amazing at what she does and I can’t praise her enough. If anyone were to ask what type of coach I would go for, I’d suggest her,” said Laura.

In September, Laura will compete in the British Junior Women’s Classic Championships in Northamptonshire.

“I want to do the best I can do to get my Personal Bests.

“It’s going to be a massive competition.”