A 79-year-old Larne weightlifter has vowed to “put Larne on the map” at the British Championships despite being targeted by “cowardly” thieves who
stole his prized equipment.
Maurice Glover, who is due to compete in the over-eighties category of the top competition next March, says he won’t let the criminals set him back after local trainers offered him free use of their facilities to prepare for the event.
Last Thursday night, his training efforts were dealt a blow after thieves broke into his garage and helped themselves to two Olympic bars and four 18-inch discs.
However, the determined pensioner says that the outpouring of support from the local community has made him more determined than ever to succeed
in the upcoming competition.
“I had had that equipment for 20 years and it’s desperate that someone would do that, but it won’t set me back,” vowed Maurice, who has been weightlifting for more than 60 years.
“I would like to thank the Cross Fit, Go Lift and Warehouse gyms for their support in offering me their facilities to train in.
“I would also like to thank local people for all the messages of support that I have received.
“Their goodwill has got me through this.
“I’m determined to succeed at the British Weightlifting Championships to put Larne on the map.”
Maurice’s daughter Tania says that the theft is particularly callous as the training is helping her Dad to cope with the death of his young granddaughter Hanna Ferjani, who passed away due to a brain tumour.
“After Hanna died my Dad had no interest in anything and this was him starting to get back into training and we were encouraging him, then someone turns around and does this,” Tania continued.
“My Dad is gutted at this theft, devastated, it has knocked the stuffing out of him.
“It isn’t to do with the monetary value, it’s the sentimental value as Dad had these items for years and had taken care of them.
“He has been weightlifting for over sixty years, it is his total passion.
“I would appeal for people to keep their eyes open to try to get these weights back to Dad, and to the people who took them to bring them back.”
A police spokesman said they had received a report that a number of tools and weightlifting equipment had been taken from a domestic garage between 5.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday December 1.
They appealed for anyone with information to contact police in Larne on 101 quoting reference number 215 02/12/16 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.