Record-breaking powerlifter hoping to win Miss Wales & become mental health nurse

Powerlifter

Powerlifting and beauty pageants have not typically been associated with one another but Catrin Haries is determined to prove that women are more than capable of succeeding in both.

The 19-year secured a world record in powerlifting when she was just 14 and has now made the final of Miss Wales 2022.

Speaking to Wales Online, the teenager emphasised how she wanted to stop the bias against women who can lift a lot at the gym.

“I feel like when you think of pageants you don’t always picture of girls who go to the gym every night and pull massive weights,” she said.

“I’m taking in part to show that women don’t have to just be ‘pretty’ they can be strong, smart and independent.”

Harries says that powerlifting has always had a stigma around it and girls are put off taking it up as a sport because it’s not considered feminine.

“I hate how powerlifting can be associated with not being feminine. I love getting dressed up and putting on pretty dresses, and just because I love lifting doesn’t mean I can’t like getting dressed up too.”

Powerlifter

Karenjeet Kaur Bains –– the first female Sikh powerlifter to represent Great Britain –– exemplified that people often felt intimidated by her profession, but that this has only spurred her on even more.

In an interview with Marie Claire, the 25-year-old said: “If you’re doing something good in life, there will always be some negativity. I often get comments about lifting heavy weights making me bulky, but factually, as females, we don’t have enough natural testosterone for this to be possible.”

“Others have found my strength – and my aggressive focus on the sport – quite intimidating. It’s never phased me, rather, only fuelled my drive to carry on.”

Aside from hoping to change the perception of people’s view towards female strength, Harries is also pursuing a career in mental health nursing.

Powerlifter

“Mental health is something that’s really important to me, especially the stigma behind it and the fact that it’s not seen as important as physical health,” Harries revealed.

“I’ve just completed my interviews and I’ve been offered a place, but I’m just waiting for the rest to come back now.”

As for the Miss Wales final –– the pageant will take place in May. Despite doing some modelling, it will be the first time the 19-year-old has taken part in a pageant, though she is relishing the opportunity.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to challenge myself, do something different and raise some awareness.”

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