#PoweredByPeople - Brónagh McPeake

Community 3 min read

06 Mar 2020


“The pressure at the moment to be skinny, have Botox, even having your nails done. It’s really important for me in my position to send out a message to say it’s ok to get into the gym, to get sweaty and encourage people to get strong in their own bodies, and look after themselves”.
 
Success is part of the make up for European Gold medallist Brónagh McPeake. The 27 year old Belfast woman owes her winning formula to the community she’s built around her. But the grit and determination of the Irish Powerlifting Federation Number 1 Female Powerlifter has seen her recognised on the world stage.

As a child, Brónagh McPeake was always involved in sport of some form. Camogie was her first love. She played throughout her schooling life, picking up a bank of achievements. When she finished school she found the gym and through that, fell in to powerlifting. Powerlifting and McPeake have blossomed into a beautiful partnership, collecting cabinets full of trophies and medals.

Brónagh started her Powerlifting journey five years ago. Reflecting on her time as a Powerlifter she looks back at how it all began. “I started in the gym and got into a small competition down the road from home, it’s been quite a journey. Looking to today, I have just competed in the European Championships in Lithuania. It’s definitely been a memorable journey”.  


Brónagh awards conquering the European Squat Record as one of her biggest achievements to date. “The record hadn’t been taken in 5 years and I got it then. I feel like looking back over my powerlifting career over the five years, it’s probably been my biggest achievement so far”.




As well as her achievements in the gym, McPeake is constantly aware of the important role she plays in inspiring young athletes across all codes to get involved in sport. The pressure on young people in today’s society to live up to ideals portrayed on social media is something Brónagh feels very strongly about.

“The pressure at the moment to be skinny, have Botox, even having your nails done. It’s really important for me in my position to send out a message to say it’s ok to get into the gym, to get sweaty and encourage people to get strong in their own bodies, and look after themselves”.

Brónagh owes her successes to the community she has built around her. “Team starts outside the gym and finishes inside the gym”.

A modest athlete in her own right, Brónagh nods to the community of family, friends, the Powerlifting family she has in the gym, Strength Malitia.
“Everyone from my family and friends, and the family I have in Strength Militia, support me. It’s not even about being supported on the day of competition, it’s about when your training here on a Monday night and you want to be at the house eating or snacking, they spur you on. The family around you is a big deal.”

As well has her tightly knit community of family, friends and gym, Brónagh also pays credit to her local credit union, who helped get where she needs to be.
“The credit union are a real big help for me getting to the European Championships. Everything down to recovery, nutrition, water – everything. The credit union is a massive factor within the family and community I have around me.”  

As her success continues, Brónagh never loses sight of where she came from. The community around her has encouraged her to be the best she can be. Brónagh puts Powerlifting in Ireland on the map. With huge success in such a short space of time, Brónagh McPeake is definitely one to watch!
 
Brónagh’s story was told as part of our #PoweredByPeople series – a campaign which celebrates tales of community support – and highlights exactly what the credit union stands for: people helping people. If you’d like to get involved and tell your story, we’d be more than happy to hear it. Simply get in touch by contacting Jane at jdaly@creditunion.ie.