INTERVIEW: Strongman Geoff Capes back in Brampton
STRONGMAN Geoff Capes will be back in Huntingdonshire on Sunday to support the Leonard Cheshire Manor summer fete. The athlete, double winner of the World s Strongest Man title, told The Hunts Post he is looking forward to returning to the village where h
STRONGMAN Geoff Capes will be back in Huntingdonshire on Sunday to support the Leonard Cheshire Manor summer fete.
The athlete, double winner of the World's Strongest Man title, told The Hunts Post he is looking forward to returning to the village where he lived and worked as a policeman in the 1970s.
"I'll enjoy being back in Brampton. I'm looking forward to being at the fete - I'll buy a few jars of homemade jam, eat a couple of slices of cake, and generally take part in the merry-making," he said.
Geoff, 59, worked at the Manor when it was the site of police headquarters, and bought his first house in the village near the High Street.
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"I have fond memories of living in Brampton. It was a nice place to live. I had good fishing waters nearby and I used to enjoy a drink in a pub in the village."
Geoff was an international shot-putter for Great Britain at the time, and he competed in the Olympics in 1972, 1976 and 1980.
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After the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Geoff moved away from Brampton and turned professional to compete in strongman competitions. As well as twice winning the World's Strongest Man, he also won the British and European Strongman titles three times each, and won the World Highland Games six times.
Geoff now passes on his experience to the next generation, training young athletes at Loughborough University three days a week, and running a sports academy in Boston for 15 and 16-year-olds.
"It's great to get out there and try to teach some of the youngsters. We have some very promising athletes coming through in this country.
"I always tell them they need the five "S" elements: strength, speed, stamina, suppleness and skill. And heart." said Geoff.
"You have to be a little bit crazy to get to the top. You have to cross the barriers, and give the crowd what they came for if you really want to make it.
Geoff also devotes a lot of time to keeping birds - he is a keen budgerigar breeder and has won world championships for exhibiting his Recessive Pieds.
"I actually got started many years ago, when I went to arrest someone for non-payment of fines. I arrived at his house in Huntingdonshire and saw that he kept budgerigars, which I already had an interest in. He later gave me my first pair of birds to breed."
He has just stepped down as President of the Budgerigar Society, and has his sights set on more success in his breeding.
"As an athlete I won Commonwealth and European Championships, I was the World's Strongest Man twice, and I have been a world champion for breeding budgerigars," said Geoff.
"That's not bad for an old boy from the Fens."
INFORMATION: Geoff Capes will be opening the Leonard Cheshire Manor summer fete in Church Street at midday on Sunday, May 31. The fete will feature all of the usual attractions and will raise money for the home which cares for people with disabilities.