MANON Bradley hopes her sportswoman of the year honour inspires others to get active, writes JAMES ROBERTS.

The award was the latest in a long line of accolades that has brought the powerlifter world records and global titles.

Her prize shines a light on a sport that traditionally gets little coverage and Bradley wants her story to encourage women across the county.

Read also: OXFORDSHIRE SPORTS AWARDS: The full list of winners

Bradley, from Witney, said: “I really want women to go out there and start picking up heavy weights.

“It’s fantastic to see women doing sport.

“Girls drop out of sport in far greater numbers than boys do.

“It’s not just about the typical sports we see on the television, you can do all sorts of things. Women can do anything.”

Bradley only started powerlifting aged 36, but has enjoyed a rapid rise in and out of the gym.

Her 82.5kg bench press is a world record, while her 115kg squat has never been surpassed by a British powerlifter.

Alongside nine world records in total, the 53-year-old is the first female president of the British drug-free powerlifting association.

This is all thanks to a ferocious work ethic, but Bradley insists anyone can follow her lead.

She said: “I have a mantra that habit beats motivation.

“Motivation will only get you so far, but on a Friday night when you’ve had a tough day of work and all you want to do is sit with a glass of wine it’s hard to train.

“So creating a habit of activity has got me where I’ve got to.”

Bradley added: “As well as the kids, I want to inspire the middle-aged women.

“To be an elite athlete, it’s drummed into you that to do sport you’ve got to do it from when you’re knee-high.”

The powerlifter was up against two strong nominees for the award.

Oxford City AC athlete Alice Hopkins, 20, retained her long jump title at this year’s England Under 23 Championships and finished seventh at the European games.

Meanwhile, wheelchair dancer Chloe Kiddie, another Witney resident, claimed gold at the single freestyle class 2 National Paradance Championships in June.

Bradley added: “I was just delighted to have been nominated, that was an honour in itself.

“I was really pleased with that, because where does that come from?”