Callard awarded British Empire Medal
Europa Weightlifting Head Coach Andrew Callard has recently been awarded a British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for voluntary services to weightlifting.
It is another honour in a long list of accolades for Callard who has previously picked up multiple annual achievement’s awards in coaching and club management over the years.
Callard coached Zoe Smith to Bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she became the first female weightlifting athlete in history to medal for Team England.
Since then she has gone on to win Gold in Glasgow, Silver in Australia and five medals in the European Championships.
Smith also represented Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012 alongside Jack Oliver, another one of Europa’s top talents.
“We’ve been very lucky,” said Callard when the news was announced at the British Championships
“We have just moved premises so we are hoping that the club can get a nice long lease so we can develop the club even further.
“Looking around the hall at the moment, all the posters at the back of the room are of Europa lifters.
“You know Zoe and Jack are everywhere and they both started at Europa back when they were 12 and 13 so they have gone a long way. We are happy and it's good for the club.”
Other successful Europa lifters include 2018 Commonwealth Champion Emily Godley, and Gold Coast medallists Sarah Davies & Owen Boxall.
As well as being one of the best coaches in the country, Callard was also successful lifter in his own right back in the 1990’s and those experiences as a lifter have helped to shape his approach to coaching.
“My last attempt at the Commonwealth Games was 98 so we are talking 20 years ago since I competed at that level,” said Callard.
“I was very lucky that I managed to achieve 3 medals; bronze, silver and gold at the Commonwealth Games. I competed for Team GB at the Olympics (as well).
“That experience is what I try to pass on to the members of the club and my enthusiasm for lifting is the same now as it was back when I was competing myself.”
Callard’s two son’s Skip and Scoop have also started competing in national events as well.
“The two boys are lifting, still juniors so I am hoping that we can get them into a junior team for the Europeans possibly.
“They’ve had a little bit of niggles leading up to this weekend, so they haven’t lifted here (at the British).
“The two boys are doing well, but we have a few youngsters at the club who are promising, and we are just trying to encourage everyone at the club to take part in more competitions.”