Local strongmen to take on province’s best

Strength, speed and, most importantly, technique, are three qualities any strongman must possess.

Strength, speed and, most importantly, technique, are three qualities any strongman must possess.

Two Williams Lake athletes, John Roberts, 23, and Blair Fisher, 52, will put all of those qualities and their bodies to the test through a day of rigourous competition this Saturday, Sept. 8 in Kamloops vying for the title of Kamloops’ Strongest Man.

Fisher, a Canadian powerlifting record holder, and Roberts just began training in the sport two months ago and will be up against 20 to 30 strongmen from around the province — some who’ve been training and competing for years.

“We’ve been training specifically for strongman for about two months,” Roberts said. “My trainer [Fisher] has done lots of powerlifting so I’ve teamed up with him to do this. I really wanted to do strongman and he’s kind of taken that route with me.”

Events the duo will compete at include atlas stone lift, car deadlift, truck pull, tire flipping, static holds, yolk walk, overhead press and toting heavy objects.

Both Roberts and Fisher will be competing in the super heavyweight division, facing off against some individuals who will be upwards of 300 pounds.

“We’re expecting a lot of usuals,” Roberts said.

“A lot of guys have been training for years so we’re expecting it to be pretty tough but we’re hoping for it to be a good learning process. This is our first one. It’s nerve racking but it’s going to be good.”

Should this Saturday be fun and enjoyable for the duo they plan to continue competing in strongman competitions around the province and, hopefully, grow interest locally in the sport.

“We want to get the word out that here in Williams Lake we want people to know about strongman,” he said. “Who knows? It could possibly interest some people to try it out.”

The sport, which has increased in popularity drastically over the past decade, now has a world-renowned club within the province, the B.C. Strongman Federation, Roberts said.

“They keep getting more and more people each year and more and more sponsors,” he said.

“They’re based out of Kamloops and host a lot of competitions around the province.”

The event runs at McDonald Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.