Meet Sarah Glanvill, MiniBIG Herself

So hi everyone, my name is Sarah Glanvill, but I usually get referred to as MiniBIG. Ioxcidants’m a 20-something PhD student, studying the corrosion of aluminium alloy AA2024. And I do a fair amount of throwing weights above my head.

Fact files:

I’m originally from a small village in Essex known as Fingringhoe. After spending what seems like a million years at university, I now live in Birmingham with my partner (it’s only fair if you now make a joke about my childhood home) while I try to survive the rest of my days as a PhD student.  

I am one of three wonderful children, specifically the result of a natural ‘buy one get one free’ sale that happened in my mother’s womb in the 1990’s. What I mean to say is I’m the youngest of identical twins.   

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My role in

As the face of MBL I’m going to share many of my ideas around the sport of weightlifting, as well as highlighting other athletes who share a stripped-back, non-#instafame outlook. I want to build a community that embraces the good, the bad and the ugly about strength sports– things that others may not be so willing to share.

  • I live by being my own superhero and think others should do the same
  • I love my sport and want more women to take part no matter what their  story is
  • Women in sport should be more celebrated,accessible – I hope to share all the role models I follow all in once place
  • My music taste needs sharing
  • I need to learn how to use commas, so writing a blog offers me plenty of practice

My sporting timeline

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I’ve been an athlete ever since I learned to run.  I mean, I won every reception class race; it was only a matter of time before I followed in my mother’s footsteps and got involved in athletics. I competed at the national level in athletics and hockey until an ankle injury put an end to it all just before making my way to University (protip: don’t slam an already delicate, injury-plagued foot in a car door).

I found myself going to the gym and sitting on cardio equipment for an hour to stay ‘fit’ (keeping a fine balance between beer in and exercise out). Yes, I was one of THOSE people once upon a time.

Then a hairy, 140 kg angel came into my life: the amazing Gorilla that is Dave Whittington. He persuaded me to do the free weights class, at first learning to squat and press. Later he convinced me to learn the clean, and even later still the snatch and jerk.  And the rest is history.

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I am now in a position where I can say after just 18 months of competing I am a British Championships bronze medalist, Central Division Champion and all-around hard-ass worker in the 58 kg category. And I have mostly Dave to thank for that. He tells me what to do and I pick things up. No excuses.

Vital MiniBIG stats:

  • Height and weight class: 5’2”, -58 kg 
  • Trains (the most) at: The University of Birmingham
  • Will always eat: Cheese
  • Animal alter ego: Phteven
  • Sings on key?: Never, but it’s the special touch I bring to all car journeys.  I’m not even good at lip syncing.
  • Other hobbies: Music. I play classical guitar, harmonica and the ukulele. Building flat pack furniture.
  • Meanest name Dave has ever called me: A gunt (the fat bulge that hangs both out the back and the front of a pair of jeans)
  • Favourite Training Exercise: Paused front squat. (because I like to check every week if i’m going to heaven or hell… being that close to death lets me figure it out.)

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