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Heavy lifter

Kinesiology graduate making her mark in power sport

special feature: Student success

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.


By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Imagine lifting more than two-and-a-half-times your own body weight. And then thinking: “I can do more.”

Delaina Roul, who hails from Lawn, N.L., challenges herself constantly with that thought. She holds the current Newfoundland and Labrador dead lift and squat records in the 47- and 52-kilogram junior powerlifting class, but she has her sights set on even bigger goals of Canadian and world records.

Her success has taken a lot of commitment and discipline to balance school and work while training and competing at the national and international level.

“Planning ahead of time, keeping a calendar and finishing whichever tasks needed to be done first was most important to managing my time,” said Ms. Roul.

Her dedication has also paid off academically: she will graduate with her bachelor of kinesiology (co-op) degree during fall convocation on Oct. 20.

Making her mark

She first competed in December 2015, where she qualified for nationals in Saskatchewan. There, she qualified for world’s and became part of Team Canada.

“I got back from the world’s in June. It was incredible to be a part of the team of the best lifters in the world,” said Ms. Roul. “To see everyone else lifting and be part of that energy is incredible. You always learn so much.”

She stresses keeping perspective is important, as she explains in the following video.

The International Powerlifting Federation world competition was held in Killeen, Texas, where Ms. Roul broke her own personal record and set the provincial record by dead lifting 260 pounds. Team Canada’s junior girls came in third overall.

A family interest

Ms. Roul’s involvement in the sport is a family affair.

“My grandfather has been a powerlifter for over 40 years and my father also used to be a powerlifter,” she said.

Ms. Roul says she has always had an interest in health, physical activity and wellness, but it wasn’t until she worked at Heavyweights, a local gym, that she discovered her own interest in the sport while participating in a six-week program to learn the basics. The sport consists of three areas: squat, bench press and dead lift.

It’s not surprising, then, that she is continuing to experience success in competition. In her most recent event, the Eastern Canadian competition last month in St. John’s, she broke the provincial squat and dead lift records in the 52-kilogram junior class.

Looking ahead

Ms. Roul is looking forward to breaking more records for the junior weightlifting class this year, as it is her last year in the category before she moves on to the open category. Her long-term goal is to powerlift for many more years. She has already gone on the further her education: she’s begun a massage therapy program.


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