Power- lifting: Graham set to take on the world

THE year 2010 has already been a special one for Swarcliffe's Graham Mattison and could get even better as the heavyweight power lifter is travelling to Finland in November to represent Great Britain and compete in the World Championships.

It has already been a prestigious year for the Yorkshireman after finishing first in the British Championships in March, becoming Northern Ireland champion 2010, winning the British finals by some distance and achieving second place in the British Bench Press competition.

A site manager for RDF building Services by day, Mattison believes he has a good chance of success in Finland.

He said: "I'm having a couple of weeks off as I just competed in the British Championships then I'll start my preparation work soon. I'm hoping for a top-three finish."

Mattison trains at Ralls Gym in Burmantofts with his coaches Andy Bolton and Brian Rennells.

RDF managing director Rick Firth has sponsored the Yorkshireman this year enabling him to purchase better equipment and helping him to prepare perfectly for the big competitions.

Mattison has been training in power lifting for five years after taking up the sport following positive feedback from his coaches at the gym.

"I originally went to their gym to keep fit but seeing all the pictures on the wall, it inspired me to start training. I asked both Andy and Brian if I could get involved," said Mattison.

He has gone on to compete in three British and two World finals.

The Yorkshireman has used his power lifting to good use in and out of the gym by helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Children's Heart Foundation.

This year he hopes to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis unit at Leeds General Infirmary along with his brother Antony and his son Bradley aged nine.

He said: "For the last three years I have raised 1,400 each time by getting people to sponsor me 10 here and 5 there in my competitions. People have also sponsored a pound for each kilo I lift."

Last year saw Mattison and his team travel to Bournemouth for the World Championships. Mattison finished fourth and hopes to return from Finland on top of the heavyweight division.