I sat down with Sophia Ellis, Commonwealth and British Powerlifting Champion, and all-round inspirational woman to understand her journey into Powerlifting, what keeps her motivated and why she chose to partner with Ksana.
How did you get into Powerlifting?
It has been a crazy journey into Powerlifting for me, I actually suffered really badly with anorexia and bulimia and ultimately ended up being hospitalised. This was actually a blessing in disguise, as when I was discharged the hospital gave me a membership to a gym, to help end the isolating phase that I had been in. Having had an up and down relationship with cardio exercises previously, I turned to weight training which was my complete saviour. Within a year of making this change I had been selected for the GB Powerlifting team and the rest is history!
What lead your move into Coaching?
I was super keen to use my experience to help others make positive changes, that's why I moved into Coaching alongside competing. Given the lack of female coaches in the sport that really inspired me to push myself further as a coach, for the benefit and inspiration for other female athletes. This has been a fantastic journey for me and my athletes, and I was made Assistant Head Coach of the England Powerlifting team last year. Coaching in Powerlifting is very male dominated, so I have really had to make my mark, stick by my values, keep learning and have confidence in everything I do.
What do you enjoy most about Powerlifting?
Powerlifting has enabled me to continually appreciate how amazing my body is, and competing enables me to grow as an athlete year on year. Other than achieving my personal goals, the most rewarding part is nurturing and inspiring others to be at the top of their game at whatever level that might be.
Outside of the day to day, the competitions take place in some of the most amazing places and I love the travel. Last year my highlight was competing in Tokyo, I just loved the culture there. Another highlight was the opportunity I had to coach the Special Olympics Powerlifting Team, the motivation and positive mental attitude of all of the athletes was truly inspirational to see and something we can all learn from.
What have been the challenges for you?
Sadly my Dad passed away last year and that was really difficult for me to deal with, but having a focus in Powerlifting really helped me to come out of the dark times with a smile on my face. Becoming British and Commonwealth champion, is something I know he’d be proud of.
What are your ambitions for the future?
It’s been great to see the growth in my coaching business over the last year and I have ambitions to grow this even more, whilst continually advancing myself as a coach through workshops, and group sessions to learn from other coaches all over the world. From a personal perspective, I’d like to continue my record-breaking streak and ultimately try for Team GB selection and maybe even end up as Team GB’s Assistant Coach as well.
What made you decide to lead a vegan lifestyle?
I have been Vegan for 8 years, initially I was Lactose intolerant and after having to cut these products out I moved to be Vegan for animal welfare reasons. I think it is great that we are seeing such a rise in plant based athletes and I love being part of that!
What attracted you to Ksana as a brand?
I love that the brand is vegan which aligns with my lifestyle, I chose the Ruby Red watch because it reminds me of the fire and passion I have for everything I do. Time is valuable and it reminds me to spend it on things that light me up inside!