It was a surreal experience for Karenjeet Kaur Bains when she became the first British-Sikh woman to represent Great Britain in powerlifting. Yet there is a lot more to the multiple Championships and titles that she has won. Her family and background have played an integral role in getting her to where she is today and her story is one worth delving into.
Her first breakthrough came when she was a 17-year old competing in an amateur powerlifting competition. Her raw strength was what made her stand out and propel her promising weight lifting career into a major life passion. As of today, she has accumulated several accolades of which the most notable are the 2019 Commonwealth Championship in the under 63kg category and placing top 10 in the World and European Championships. She is extremely proud of her heritage and insists on having her full name wherever and whenever she competes.
Karenjeet Kaur Bains has been selected to represent GB in the World Powerlifting Championships in Sweden in June.
Karenjeet will be the first Sikh female to represent GB on such a world class stage.
Watch her story on BBC Midlands News at 6.30pm today pic.twitter.com/OGcuKlT854
— The Sikh Network (@TheSikhNet) May 8, 2019
Her passion for the sport is reflective of the kind of message she aims to spread to women of all backgrounds who wish to engage in all kinds of pursuits and particular powerlifting. Her inspiration for engaging in this sport comes from her entire family who all specialize in athletic track and field events. Her elder brothers were both national level hurdle runners and her father (doubles up as her coach) is a powerlifter as well. Ironically, her mother, Manjit picked up sports after watching her children compete regularly in events at school. Moving to the UK was tough on her as she had not finished her schooling back home in Punjab. Regardless, she overcame all odds and began lifting weights alongside her daughter, gradually getting into athletic competitions as well. Today she dominates athletic and fitness competitions in Warwickshire and is an inspiration to her children and in particular, Karenjeet. Her daughter is in awe of her mother and was quoted saying “I was 13 at the time. I was a keen sprinter. So the fact that I saw her win all of these medals, I was always very proud of her and it was made even more special knowing her background and the challenges she went through to fulfill part of her childhood dream.”
Credit is due to the entire family for supporting and pushing each other to excel. Powerlifting in the literal sense is a family event for all the members who have given so much to the sport through their pursuit. Along with working hard, Karenjeet has remained grounded and focused, keeping her heritage and culture at the back of her mind everywhere she goes. This has allowed her to lead the way for girls like her and bring about a path for change and inspiration.