A Sussex woman is ‘over the moon’ after being crowned England’s Strongest Woman.
Gemma Ferguson from Burgess Hill competed for the title in Lichfield, Staffordshire, on May 27.
The 34-year-old said: “I cried. I had just trained so hard with my coach so I am the over the moon about it.
“I wanted to show myself what I could do. I was 11 and a half points clear over the other girls, so I did pretty well.”
Gemma’s strongwoman success began when she was spotted flexing her muscles at Fitz Gym in Bolney, Haywards Heath. Now, she competes in strongwoman competitions across the world.
At the moment, she is the 15th strongest woman in the world, she said.
In this latest bid, she competed in three categories. There were six events, which included lifting an overhead medley and a 50kg keg.
Gemma is now gearing up for her next big challenge – Britain’s Strongest Woman. The competition takes place at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Tamworth on August 10.
Gemma said she also hopes to compete in World’s Strongest Woman in November.
The Openreach telecoms engineer, who was previously in the army, competed for the bid in December, last year.
Read more here: Watch Burgess Hill woman flex her muscles ahead of World's Strongest Woman bid
“I threw myself into the deep end,” she said, adding: “But I learned so much from it. I came away a bit disheartened as I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but it gave me a big fire in my belly.”
Gemma said this year she now has a ‘brilliant’ coach. Before, she just trained on her own.
“I realised the importance of having a coach,” she said.
“I am also being sponsored this year by Tuff Wraps and Falcon Health. My whole package this year is a lot better.”
Gemma said she fell in love with the sport and hopes to inspire other women.
“It is so empowering. I feel strong – not just my fitness but in my mind too,” she said.
“There is this misconception that you are going to get big if you lift weights – but it is not true.”
Gemma eats a clean diet to stay in shape and avoids alcohol. She lost five stone to compete in competitions and currently weighs 12.5 stone.
People can watch Gemma compete for Britain’s Strongest Woman live on her Instagram at www.instagram.com/g