A WEIGHTLIFTING star has described her joy after being selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.
Former Miss Flintshire Steph Owens will compete in Glasgow next month alongside some of the world’s biggest sporting stars.
Personal trainer Steph, from Buckley, only took up the sport in 2010 after moving away from a promising athletics career and said she just wants to try to enjoy her first Commonwealth Games experience.
The 23-year-old, who was crowned Miss Flintshire in 2012, said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I just want to go there and do everyone proud.
“It would be nice to go there and represent Wales without any pressure.
“For me this is just the start – it doesn’t stop with one Commonwealth Games.”
Steph, who trains at Core Fitness at Ellesmere Port, says she always has a smile on her face, despite the demanding workload.
“The sacrifice has been four years of hard work,” she said.
“When I look back, two years of the last four have been with injury because with weightlifting it puts a lot of strain on the body.
“I’m going to lift on July 27 and that will be the culmination of all that hard work.”
Steph, who has pursued sports studies at both Deeside College and West Cheshire College, said it was later than she would have wanted that she made the 160kg A grade to cement her place in the squad, but she has worked hard to eventually achieve it in the sport she loved.
As a youngster, she was involved in ice-skating and athletics, performing at the British Schools Athletics Championships before moving into weightlifting.
She said: “When it got to London 2012 there was a bit of me that thought maybe I should have stuck to athletics but I knew I had swapped sports for a reason and I love doing this.
“The support I have had has been amazing and I can’t wait to get out there.”