A Keighley butcher is beefing up a local weightlifter’s chances of Olympic glory by offering her free meat to help build up her strength.
Riddlesden resident Ian Hewitt, who owns I and J Hewitt Butchers in Bar Lane, stepped in to help Denholme teen Rebekah Tiler after reading in the Keighley News that her funding from UK Sport was being stopped.
Mr Hewitt, himself a keen former sportsman, said: “I saw the article and thought, ‘that’s a crying shame, as she’s so blooming good’. I thought that if there was any way I could help her, I would.”
He is offering 15-year-old Rebekah – who is European youth weightlifting champion – free steak and chicken so she can boost her protein intake.
As previously reported in the Keighley News, Rebekah lost funding because British Weight Lifting had its money from UK Sport reduced. Rebekah had been receiving £350 a month which she could use to stay overnight on long trips to compete, and on costly nutritional aids such as protein shakes.
Responding to Mr Hewitt’s help, Rebekah’s mum, Emma Tiler, said: “It’s really nice and generous of him to do this. He’ll be supplying meat for Rebekah’s high protein diet, which is great as it can get expensive to have steak every day.”
Rebekah’s rise in the competitive weightlifting world has seen her smash a host of British and European age-group records.
She is hoping for selection in Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games this summer after recently making the qualifying standard. She has been earmarked for the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio, and for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
People can call her mum on 07926 587379 or her dad, Chris, on 07933 084146 if they are interested in backing her.