A NORTH-EAST born weightlifter is hoping to be as successful as she was on a national TV assault course as she heads Down Under to compete in the Commonwealth Games.

Kelly-Jo Robson, originally from Stockton, is travelling to Australia's Gold Coast in April, after being selected to represent England in the weightlifting event.

The 29-year-old, who attended Durham University and now works as a strength and conditioning coach at Lifestyle Express in Middlesbrough, has only been weightlifting for four years, having previously been a gymnast.

Loading article content

But after impressing in the Northern Ireland Championships last October, she has secured a place in the 18-strong team.

Ms Robson said she was "absolutely ecstatic" when she found out she would be representing her country in the games.

"I only found out for certain a few days ago - I have worked so hard to achieve a place over the last three years.

"That feeling when you achieve a goal you have set out for is surreal.

"My family were over the moon - I couldn't contain my mother," she added.

Ms Robson will be hoping to repeat the success she achieved on the BBC game show Total Wipeout, where she finished third.

"It was absolutely crazy - I got the chance to got Argentina and it was a really really good experience.

"I was coaching at Redcar Gymnastics Club when they were looking for people to take part.

"The staff there knew I'd be interested and signed me up - so I went for an interview and I got picked."

Ms Robson hopes her experience in Australia will help raise awareness of weightlifting in the North-East.

"I teach Olympic classes here, but when I was first trying to get into it, there was nothing in the North-East, but it has started to pick up and gain more interest.

"There are so many transferable skills for sprinters and cyclists, it helps with power, speed and strength - it gives you a good grounding."

The Commonwealth Games begin on April 4.