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'Bendy-Jointed' Teen Becomes Britain's Strongest Schoolgirl

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

'Bendy-jointed' teen becomes Britain's strongest schoolgirl

Talk about turning adversity into an advantage! That's what inspiring teenager Laresce Brown did.

She was born with a condition that made her feet turn inwards and caused her crippling pain.

But rather than feel sorry for herself, the now 16-year-old used her agony to motivate her to become Britain's strongest school.

Just two years ago, the condition left Laresce, from Eccles, Manchester, in so much pain she couldn't even take part in sport.

But now she has six British and World Champion powerlifting records under her belt. holds a UK record for deadlifting more than twice her own bodyweight after lifting 105kg.

And she can also bench press her own bodyweight of 50kg (7st 12lbs). It's an incredible achievement.

For when she was born, Laresce's toes and knees grew inward and doctors diagnosed her with metatarsus varus, commonly known as pigeon toe.

The condition means her feet turned inwards. It usually corrects itself by the age of eight or nine and does not require treatment.

They also said she had hypermobility, which meant her joints were 'bendy', having a greater range of movement than usual. The condition can cause severe joint pain and lead to dislocations.

Laresce's trainer Tania George, 43, said this is the secret to her success - she has more flexibility in her back than most people which means her technique in forming an arch in her spine leaves the competition behind.

Tania said: "Most powerlifters would kill to be able to form an action-arch like Laresce.

"Because she has perfected the technique of bending her back strongly and safely she has the leverage to lift incredibly heavy weights."

Laresce said: "I used to suffer a lot of pain from my hypermobility. When I was eleven I remember coming home from school with pains in my knees, joints and hips.

"It would stop me doing normal things like taking part in sports at school.

"The pain would be so much that some nights I wouldn't sleep at all and I just couldn't face going to school like that.

"After almost dislocating my hip I had to do six months of physiotherapy to recover."

However, since taking up the sport of powerlifting 18 months ago she is now effectively cured.

She said her dad, Adam, 39, inspired her to get involved with weightlifting.

She said: " 'I started going down to see my dad weightlift at the gym. I really enjoyed the feeling of power I got and the excitement of people encouraging me to do my very best."

Trainer Tania said: "Laresce's position as Britain's strongest powerlifter for her age and weight is down to her spirit and determination. Even though she is alongside women three times her age with greater experience and well above her weight category, she is head and shoulders above the rest.

"This success is due to her hypermobility, a condition which she had to work incredibly hard to master."

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