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Weighty challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:21 23 June 2010 | UPDATED: 15:53 16 August 2010

MUSCLES: Headteacher Andrew Velasco tunes in his biceps for charity strength challenge.

MUSCLES: Headteacher Andrew Velasco tunes in his biceps for charity strength challenge.

A HEADTEACHER who is a former international powerlifter is gearing up to take part in an exhausting challenge for charity. Andrew Velasco, 49, (pictured) head of St Christopher s School, in Bromley Road, Beckenham, Welsh Powerlifting Champion in 1995, p

A HEADTEACHER who is a former international powerlifter is gearing up to take part in an exhausting challenge for charity.

Andrew Velasco, 49, (pictured) head of St Christopher's School, in Bromley Road, Beckenham, Welsh Powerlifting Champion in 1995, plans to lift a vein-popping 10,000kg in two hours in the school gym later today.

The event is the latest in a string of stunts to raise more than £10,000 for the Eyeless Trust, a charity that supports children who were born without eyes.

Mr Velasco, known as 'Sir' to his students, said: "Having seen what the other teachers have done, I though it only right for me to make a bit of a fool of myself wearing my weightlifting kit.

"The sister of one of our teachers has a child who was born with no eyes, so this is relevant to us at the school."

George Croft, the nephew of teacher Victoria White, was born without eyes in December 2008.

Mr Velasco, who lives in Streatham Hill with his family, will employ the three main techniques of powerlifting, which are squat, bench press and deadlift.

He still trains regularly at Crystal Palace Heavyweights, but usually only one or two disciplines at a time.

"It is going to be very hard, as I haven't done all three disciplines together since I competed some 15 years ago. It's been a calculated risk, as my stamina levels have definitely subsided and I'm not used to lifting in the morning.

"The children are are coming in at different time to have a laugh at me and see what it is all about. Many of them won't have seen a weight lifter before."

In March teacher Emma Palmer was joined by her husband and two parents to cycle 100 miles from the London Eye to the village of Eye in Suffolk to raise money for the

campaign.

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