By Surbhi Gogia
CHAMPION powerlifter Sumeet Sharma was recently honoured by Khalsa Diwan Society’s Ross Street Gurdwara in Vancouver for being an inspirational role model for youth in schools across the Lower Mainland.
We have all heard inspiring weight loss stories due to simple lifestyle changes. But story of a lifestyle change that led to making of an international sports star, is quite rare. Meet Sumeet Sharma, a 33 year old Vancouver resident, who did not only lose weight but has become an international gold winning power lifter for Canada, after deciding to lose weight and opt for a few simple lifestyle changes.
Sumeet so far has won silver and gold for Canada in the international events. Recently he won a gold medal at the North American Power lifting Championships in Panama City last year in October.
Sumeet’s journey started after he finished his high school. “I was always overweight during my youth years. After completing my high school, I took some health sciences courses and learnt more about my body and how it works. I was a go-getter and very determined in what I did. Once I decided, I started going to gym and counting my calories. I shed a few pounds with- in two weeks which further motivated me,” he recalls. Sumeet lost more than 40 pounds with in a short span of time and went from 210 to 173 pounds.
He says, once he lost weight, he started lifting weights. “I asked power lifters at the gym for their advice on how and how much to lift. They provided me with invaluable tips. I started getting better and more confident,” he says. Participating in various sports competitions was always at the back of Sumeet’s mind but he only figured out his path once he started power-lifting. There are three categories in power lifting — squat, benchpress and deadlift. Sumeet specializes in bench press.
With the help of more professional coaching, Sumeet participated in his first formal event in 2015 in Abbotsford. “I finished second in my first competition. The environment at the show was so positive and encouraging, that it further boosted me to work harder and go for provincials,” he says.
He has won gold in Western Power lifting Championships. He earned a 4th place in Nationals in 2019 to qualify for Commonwealth Power-lifting championship in New Foundland. He represented Team Canada and walked away with a silver in bench press. In Panama, he won a gold medal by lifting 370 pounds. He is now preparing for his next championship in Winnipeg in March.
A BC corrections Officer by profession, who studied criminology at KPU, Sumeet has always believed in giving back to the community either by volunteering or even by choosing a profession that helps people. And now he is out there to share his inspirational journey with the youth and high school students. “I had always nurtured a dream to win a gold for Canada but never knew how. Power-lifting gave me the opportunity to full-fill my dreams and aspirations. If I could inspire even a handful of youth to get into any sport and follow their dreams, I think I will be successful,” says Sumeet.
He was recently at the Princess Margaret School in Surrey to provide presentation on tips and tricks for power-lifting and general health fitness to physical education students. “I talked about dieting, working out, and for how it’s important to follow your dreams.” Sumeet says the community response has been phenomenal in supporting him. “I have been reached out by the school teachers to do more presentations. So I will be going to many more schools to do the same presentation.” Sumeet has teamed up with Foodie Fit. They provide an easy way to get healthy, freshly prepared food delivered. Thier goal is to take the hassle out of meal planning and shopping and providing a way for people who have health and wellness goals to meet there daily nutritional needs without spending a lot of time and money. Foodie fit has been helping Sumeet go to to schools and talk about dieting and eating right to students.
His message to all the young people out there is that to be fit and aspire for goals. Sumeet was a next door boy who did not belong to any family of professional sportsmen. But he aspired for something big and with his determination and only in 4 years, he has come a long way to win gold for his country. Sumeet thinks, “If he can do it, you can do it for sure.” DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU!