Weightlifting champion Joanne Calvino is nominated as Croydon Champion
A British weightlifting champion who narrowly missed out in a place at the Olympics has been nominated for the Sporting Champion award.
Joanne Calvino has represented Croydon in the London Youth Games and represented England at three Commonwealth Games, but has also given a lot of time volunteering to help aspiring athletes.
The 32-year-old who lives in Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, and has been dedicated to her sport for nearly 20 years, qualified for the London 2012 Games, but was not picked for Team GB.
But Miss Calvino, who has been a weightlifting champion since the age of 13, put her disappointment aside to manage the weightlifting team and lead the borough’s diving team to Gold at the London Youth Games, 10 years after winning as a team member.
The regional aquatics development manager started her career as a highboard and springboard diver, and became involved in weightlifting after starting to do weights to make her stronger.
She was nominated for the Croydon Champions award by her mother, Yvonne, who described her daughter’s ability to encourage children to participate in sports as “amazing”.
On the nomination form she wrote: “She loves sport and I am very proud of what she has achieved.
“Her dedication is beyond belief and I think it would be nice for the borough to recognise her work.”
As well as her full-time job, Miss Calvino also volunteers coaching children and adults.
She said: “All I do is voluntary. I like to know I got kids involved.
“You can find hidden gems, which is really exciting.”
Speaking of her nomination she said: “I did not have a clue, I am a little bit shocked but it is very nice.”
Miss Calvino appealed the decision of team GB selectors not to pick her for London 2012, after she felt weightlifters were chosen who performed worse than she did in the qualifying round, but lost the appeal.