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Karenjeet Kaur Bains had a surreal experience when she became the first British-Sikh woman to represent Great Britain in powerlifting. But, her countless Championships and titles conceal a great deal more. Her family and past have played a significant role in bringing her to where she is today, and it is worthwhile to investigate her story. Her first breakthrough occurred when she was 17 years old and competed in a powerlifting tournament for amateurs.She stood out and developed a deep passion for weight lifting due to her innate strength, which propelled her promising career in the sport.. 

Numerous accolades

As of now, she has amassed a number of achievements, the most prominent of which are the 2019 Commonwealth Championship in the under-63 kilogramme weight class and ranking in the top 10 in the World and European Championships. She insists on using her entire name whenever and wherever she participates, as she is incredibly proud of her history.

Karenjeet’s journey 

Her enthusiasm for the sport reflects the message she hopes to convey to women of different backgrounds who are interested in engaging in a variety of activities, including powerlifting. Her motivation to participate in this sport stems from the fact that her entire family specialises in athletic track and field events. Her older brothers were also national-calibre hurdlers, and her father (who also serves as her coach) is a powerlifter. Paradoxically, her mother, Manjit, took up sports after often observing her children compete in school competitions. 

Going to the United Kingdom was difficult for her because she had not completed her education in Punjab. Despite this, she overcame all hurdles and began weightlifting with her daughter, eventually entering sports events herself. Currently, she dominates athletic and fitness competitions in Warwickshire and serves as a role model for her children, especially Karenjeet. Her daughter is in awe of her mother and is cited stating, “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.”

The entire family deserves credit for encouraging and pushing each other to excel. Powerlifting is a literal family affair for those who have contributed so much to the sport through their participation. In addition to working diligently, Karenjeet has remained grounded and focused, always keeping her ancestry and culture in the back of her mind. This has enabled her to serve as a role model for other girls and pave the road for positive transformation and inspiration.


*Based on an article by C.C.Chengappa published in The Bridge on 16th Feb’23


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