WEIGHTLIFTING: Declan Evans powered his way to silver at the Australian National Championships for powerlifting in Melbourne recently.
Coach Bronwyn Evans said her 17 year-old son had delivered a stellar performance to walk away in second place.
"He's gone down there after quite a bit of training and he squatted 115 kilo, bench pressed 80 kilo, and dead lifted 130 kilo in the sub-junior under 59 kilo class,” she said.
"And he weighed in at just over 55 kilo.”
Second at the national championships wasn't his only success of the meet, though.
His effort also saw him lift a weight which qualifies him for the 2016 Asia/Oceania Championships held in Christchurch from December 4-11.
Bronwyn Evans said he hopes to make the trip, but his participation will depend on whether or not they can raise enough money to send him.
"I do have a Go Fund Me for him to raise money to get him into nationals (which he just competed at)” she said.
"With the Go Fund Me we were hoping to have it raise enough money for both competitions.
"At this point it only raised just enough to get him to nationals, but we'll see what happens.”
The chance to compete in Christchurch is the culmination of immense dedication and effort towards the sport, which has seen Declan Evans travelling to Brisbane simply to compete in the closest local competition.
Like most weightlifters, Bronwyn Evans said her son competes between two to four times a year, and trains four days a week for the opportunity to do so.
His silver medal also sits on top of his previous achievements - he holds two records in the Australian school bench press championships.
Having been lifting for four years, Bronwyn Evans said the sport had been of immense help to her son in his personal life as well.
"I'm proud of him. Declan's overcome a lot. He is autistic... it's allowed him to come off medication.
"He's not on medication any more for anything. Which was important because it's a fully drug tested sport.
"He's got to follow all of the same rules that any other elite level athlete has to follow, which means not taking anything on the ASADA banned list.
"Which can be a little challenging - for example, there's a fair number of over the counter medications that you take for granted - but when you start to look into what's in the ingredients list you suddenly find out that no, you can't have that cold and flu tablet because this ingredient will trigger a positive test.”
In spite of his current success, she said he is a little unsure about what the future holds for him after this year.
"He's grade 12 this year, and he's considering joining the army.
"From what I understand they support their lifters fairly well, for those who are competitive lifters in the armed forces.”
"He's hoping to join the army as an apprentice chef.”
While it might sound like an odd mix, she said the combination was the most natural thing in the world.
"All lifters enjoy their food,” she laughed.
"I don't think I've met a lifter yet who doesn't enjoy their food.”
Anyone looking to help contribute to getting Declan to Christchurch can find his Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/Declan_Power