Opportunity for young weightlifter

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Selected . . . Dunedin weightlifter Patrick Sefo-Cloughley (16), of Otago Weightlifting, is one of two New Zealanders selected for the OTIP training camp in New Caledonia in December. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A Dunedin weightlifter will train with Oceania’s best later this year.

Patrick Sefo-Cloughley has been selected to attend the Oceania Talent Identification Programme (OTIP) in New Caledonia in December.

The OTIP provides an opportunity for youth lifters from the Oceania region to travel and train together.

A record number of athletes from clubs around New Zealand were nominated – 10 males and five females – and only two were chosen.

Sefo-Cloughley was nominated by his Otago Weightlifting coach, Callan Helms, and picked by Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand, alongside Faith Dent (16), of Auckland.

Sefo-Cloughley said he was looking forward to learning new skills and meeting new people.

It was a great opportunity to correct any issues with his technique, and train with other weightlifters from around Oceania.

“It’s always good to have another set of eyes on you.

“It will be cool to meet new people [and] embrace their culture.”

In his nomination letter, Helms wrote that Sefo-Cloughley had “remarkable knowledge” of the sport and was dedicated and committed to improving.

Last month he won a silver medal in the over-16 under-96kg class in the national secondary school championships with a 106kg snatch and 125kg clean and jerk.

“He has seemingly limitless potential in the sport and being a part of this camp would serve as inspiration for years to come,” Helms wrote.

Sefo-Cloughley will compete in the national junior and senior championships in Auckland next month.

It will be his first time competing in both categories and he was feeling optimistic.

“My build-up for that has been pretty good.”