Press "Enter" to skip to content

Kerala woman smashes stigma, trains girls to be powerlifters

Mary Beena.

She may be a late bloomer in the world of powerlifting, but 59-year-old Mary Beena of Kerala is now producing some of the finest female powerlifters for the country from her modest gym in Kochi.

For someone who took up powerlifting at the age of 49, ignoring the stigma against female powerlifters, especially mothers from orthodox families, Mary Beena of Kandakkadavu, Chellanam in Kochi has come a long way. She has carved out an identity for herself in the sport by winning several gold medals in the master’s powerlifting category, both nationally and internationally.

“Though I loved sports from my childhood days, I was never into the gym or powerlifting. After the delivery of two children, I started putting on a lot of weight. Only then did I decide to join the gym to stay fit and trim my body. But that decision changed my life. I became fascinated by powerlifting and started focusing on it,” Mary Beena told “Open Digest.”

Mary Beena along with her students at the gym

She got her real break when she won a gold medal for India at the Asia International Masters Championship held in Jaipur in 2018. “Though I have been winning medals in state and national-level competitions since 2017, winning a medal for the country was a special occasion for me,” she said.

As a woman and mother of two children who broke stereotypes with her choice of building a career in powerlifting, Beena was determined to provide opportunities for more females to enter the world of powerlifting.

“Being a woman, it wasn’t easy to opt for a career in powerlifting. Many people still think that powerlifting is a male sport not suited for females. I was fortunate to have a husband who supported me. Even my children stood by me. But there are a lot of girls and women who couldn’t get the required support. So I wanted to provide training exclusively to females who really want to make a career in powerlifting,” Beena said.

Her husband Harold Stevenson is a business partner of an insurance company while her son Sonal Stevenson and daughter Soneeta Stevenson work in a multi-national IT company in Infopark, Kochi.

It was in 2019 that Beena started her modest gym “Fitness Kochi” at Thammanam in Kochi where she trains many young girls and women in powerlifting. “I feel proud when I see the achievements of my students. More young girls are coming forward to seriously take up powerlifting. There is no age criteria. Anyone can become a powerlifter,” she added.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kerala’s Enchanting Beaches for Destination Weddings Kerala’s Captivating Hill Stations for Your Summer Escapades Conquering Cerebral Palsy: Dr. Nanda’s Journey of Perseverance and Compassion This Kerala youth with rare genetic condition fought body shaming to succeed in life 4.5 acres of barren land into farm: 3 friends’ organic farming venture in Kerala Do not discard used cooking oil: Learn about Kerala RUCO Project At 61, this retired Kerala professor is dancing her way to her dream Muslim percussionist’s Sopana Sangeetham at Kerala temple How 7 Friends in Kerala Built a Dam, Powered a Hospital Special Olympics Victory of Kerala’s Handball Champion