Sumeet Sharma hopes he can influence Surrey students to get fit, and stay that way.
He wasn’t always in great shape.
“I was a bit overweight in high school,” Sharma said. “I was the kid who went to the vending machine and bought lunch.”
In his attempts to lose weight, Sharma found that he could lift a lot of weight.
Today, he’s a champion powerlifter, after winning a gold medal at the North American Powerlifting Championships in Panama City last October.
Last Friday morning (Jan. 10), Sharma spoke to physical education students at Princess Margaret Secondary in Newton.
“It’s just a way of giving back to the community, which I always like to do,” Sharma said.
A B.C. Corrections employee in Surrey, Sharma got serious about powerlifting in 2016.
The sport involves three attempts at maximal weight on any of three lifts (squat, bench press and deadlift).
In Panama, he pulled off his gold-medal victory in bench press with an impressive 370 pounds – “about the same weight as an adult reindeer,” Sharma said.
In addition to that win, Sharma earned gold in both 2017 and 2018 at the Western Powerlifting Championships, and placed fourth in Canada in 2018.
“From these successes I was chosen to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championship in Newfoundland earlier this year where I walked away with silver in bench press,” Sharma noted.
His powerlifting results are posted to openpowerlifting.org.
Now 33 years of age, Sharma trains with the Burnaby-based Iron Outlier club.
Kevin Sanghara, a teacher at Princess Margaret Secondary, invited Sharma to speak to his P.E. students.
“He did an excellent job presenting and really connected with some of the students who stuck around after the presentation to ask him more questions in person,” Sanghara said. “It was great to have him here and he really inspired a handful of students.”