OPERA-LOVING Frank Howgate has plenty of reasons to burst into song after he returned from the European Masters Games with three bronze medals for weightlifting.
Frank, who is 74 years old and from Dewsbury, took part in the games at Lignano, Italy and despite carrying an injury he came third in three different weightlifting disciplines in the 70-74 age category.
“I love opera and as Italy is the home of opera when I met other competitors from around Europe I started singing to them,” says Frank who had his family, including seven-year-old grandson, in Italy cheering him on.
He described the experience of being with so many athletes from across Europe taking part in many sports as ‘magical’.
Frank’s dedication and exceptional fitness was shown as two days after returning he was back in action, this time in a shot putt competition at Princess Mary Stadium in Spenborough and Frank won the event in his age category.
It has been quite a year as back in March he defended his British weightlifting title at Lilleshall.
He also found time to spread his passion for the sport to pupils at Earlsheaton Technology College. As a result they took part in the National Clean and Jerk Scheme and were the largest regional entry in Britain.
Frank is back in the gym, at Fitness First in Wakefield and Fitness Connection in Ravensthorpe as he trains for the Northern Masters Weighltifting Championships in Mytholmroyd.
Frank’s next ambition is to return to Italy to compete in the World Masters Games in Turin in 2013.