A Galway City powerlifter, who decided to retire from rugby after suffering multiple concussions, will make her international debut when she competes in the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden this weekend.
The current U-21 national champion in the 47kg class, and also the current holder of the Irish junior squat record, Ballinfoile Park native Kym Murray admits she is nervous about competing at a major event. “I am quite nervous,” says the 20-years-old.
“I am flying out on Wednesday and competing on Saturday, at 10.30am, Irish time. At the moment, I am trying to cut down to my weight class again; I have a few training sessions left to go. There are 37 [competitors] going from Ireland; I think I am the only one from Connacht, to my knowledge. There is definitely no one else from Galway.”
A full-time student at NUI Galway, studying maths and geography, who also works part-time at Electric Nightclub, Murray was first introduced to weights when she started playing rugby with Galwegians.
“I would have done strength training there. I then went on to play for Connacht U-18 sevens and got injured – I had three concussions – and that pretty much brought everything to a halt. One of them was serious. I was knocked out for a few minutes.”
By this time, the scrum-half, who played on the wing or as a hooker in rugby sevens, was already enamoured with weights training. In Transition Year, she joined a gym and started doing body-building. At first, it was geared towards furthering her rugby career, but she soon realised that she preferred the strength and conditioning side of training to the rugby games themselves.
“So, I decided to swap over and do body building full-time,” she continues. “When I first started doing body building, my main goal was to compete in body building and do a body building competition.”