Nicola Dore, Para Powerlifter

It was a pleasure to meet the remarkable young woman, Nicola Dore and have a very frank discussion with her about being Ireland’s first female para-powerlifter, her achievements and aspirations for the future.

Nicola Dore

Would like to tell me a little bit about yourself, how did you get into powerlifting?


Ok well I’m Nicola (as you know 😂😂). I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition which affects my whole body but primarily my legs so mainly I use a wheelchair.

I’m currently an IT Student with the National Learning Network. I previously worked with the Irish Wheelchair Association and a Genealogy office which I loved because I’ve a keen interest in history so tracing family roots was pretty cool. I’m actually doing an online history course at the minute during this lockdown. When I’m not studying I enjoy playing basketball, tennis, going to GAA matches, gigs, I’m mad into music. I also used to be a very keen baker. I like nutrition too and healthy eating.

I took up powerlifting in Feb 2015 after a basketball coach asked me if I’d be interested in trying it out, I admit I was unsure at first, but then he said there were no women in Ireland doing Para Powerlifting and that sealed the deal really 😂😂 I wanted to change that and prove it wasn’t just a sport for men, as at the time the team was male dominated.


My god that’s quite the CV you have got there! So you’re Ireland’s first female para power lifter?


Yea after a few months of training I was offered a place on the Irish team, the first woman to do so 💪💪 Had my first comps in the UK and Hungary that very year.


So it’s fair to say you took to it like a duck to water? How did you do in those competitions?


Yea loved it. I came first in UK comp but bombed at the Hungary Comp. The judges failed all my lifts based on technical faults. I must admit I took it very badly I was so disappointed but I came home, refocused and got my head back in the game. I’m a very positive person by nature so negatives situations just make me more determind. You don’t lose. You either win or you learn.


I love that. “You don’t lose. You either win or you learn!” So how has training being going since lockdown?


It took me a while to make my mark which was 2 years ago at the World European Para Powerlifting Championships in France where I took away bronze for Ireland and made history by winning the first ever senior championship medal for Ireland in the sport. It was a very proud moment to make it to the podium and watch the Irish flag being raised. It has to be the single greatest honour as an athlete. I am a very proud Irish girl and very proud of my roots. It took 3 years of blood, sweat and tears but I got there.

Training is going well all things considered. I am blessed to have some equipment at home and use of a home gym right on my doorsteep so pretty much taking everything I’ve been taught over the last 5 years from coaches and trainers and putting it into my workouts, keeping the standards high.


Congratulations on your success. I’m sure your parents were beaming with pride. That’s certainly an advantage having a gym next door to you, which helps keep you active and ready for your next competition. You’re well travelled with the sport aren’t you?


Thank you, I went on to win medals in Coventry, Tokyo and most recently in Manchester before the lockdown took hold

Yes they were and are still very proud.

Yea very fortunate, not sure when my next competition will be but I reckon I’ll be more than prepared 💪💪

Yea I’ve been very lucky to travel the world with the sport. I’ve been to Dubai, Hungary, France, UK, Malaysia, Tokyo, Kazakhstan, Mexico City. Its a huge honour to represent our country on the International stage.


Wow! I feel bad for my passport that has only seen England and France! Does the Olympics beckon next year?


Haha!! I was due to travel to Dubai in April for the final qualifiers for the Paralympic Games but all got cancelled.

Yes for now they are scheduled to go ahead summer 2021.


I wish you the best of luck getting there next year, I’m sure with your determination, that won’t be a problem. What would you say to anyone looking to get into the world of powerlifting.


Thanks a million 😁😁 I say go for it, life is short, you gotta go after your dreams, you can be anything you want to be, you just have to have the right attitude and mindset. Powerlifting is a very empowering sport. Bit like life. It’s up to you to raise that bar. Noone can do it for you. There is something so powerful in that itself. Like climbing a mountain. You have to trust your body and mind to reach the top


That makes perfect sense and some inspiring words there, Nicola. Well it’s been an absolute pleasure, it really has. Thank you so much for your time and patience.


You’re more than welcome and thank you.


Nicola has here own Instagram page were she frequently post fitnesses videos. You can follow her here

Nicola clinching the sliver medal

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