Toowoomba’s Kelsey Francis, who trains at Bond University's gym, has her sights set on national success. Picture: Cavan Flynn.
Toowoomba’s Kelsey Francis, who trains at Bond University's gym, has her sights set on national success. Picture: Cavan Flynn.

Broken wrist no barrier to lifter’s dream

WEIGHTLIFTING: Kelsey Francis broke her wrist in four places in a training mishap in her garage in Toowoomba last year.

The horrifying incident would be enough to deter most from the sport but not Francis.

The injury should have kept her out of the sport for an extended period, but her commitment and determination could not be denied.

“I was doing some cleans (clean and jerks) at home in my garage when the injury happened,” Francis said.

“It had been raining and I had the garage door up, which is not an advisable thing.

“I slipped and landed and my wrist got caught and it was broken in four places.

“Luckily mum was home and raced me to St Vincent’s private hospital.

“They had to do a manipulation under anaesthetic – it was an emergency operation.”

Francis returned to light training while the fractures healed.

“I’m dedicated, so I was still squatting and doing things with the cast on. I managed to keep my strength and it didn’t slow me down as much as it should have.

“When the gyms opened up after COVID-19 restrictions lifted, I went back pretty quickly.”

The 18-year-old is part of the Bond University Elite Sport Program and studies a Bachelor of Laws and Business while training in the University gym nearly every day of the week.

Her coach Greg Hobl – who is part of Australia’s elite coaching staff – watches her training remotely from his Toowoomba base.

The plan for Francis is to compete strongly at the National titles which will be held at different venues across the country in March.

“Every state is holding part of the competition and I want to go to Townsville and lift some heavy weights there,” she said.

“I’ve been taught by one of the best (Hobl) since I started as a 16-year-old.

“I set up a couple of cameras and Greg will either watch via facetime or watch later to give me advice and correct my technique.

“I find it easy to motivate myself. I think Greg also keeps me honest by getting on my back.”

Originally published as Broken wrist no barrier to lifter’s dream