Noosa's 79-year-old power lifting sensation Derek Mason recently broke two national records and three personal best's at the SSG Open II in Brisbane.
Noosa's 79-year-old power lifting sensation Derek Mason recently broke two national records and three personal best's at the SSG Open II in Brisbane. Michael Coppola Photographics

Powering to top of lift class

DEREK Mason, Noosa's 79-year-young weightlifting sensation, has done it again.

At the recent SSG Open II in Brisbane the tiny-framed but mighty-strong go-getter broke two national records for his age category - one he set himself in May and three personal best scores.

"I broke the national record for bench press and I lifted 66 kilos and I broke the record for dead lift and lifted 100 kilos," Mr Mason said.

Derek Mason: Powerlifter Derek Mason, 79, recently broke two national records and three personal best scores.

He also squat pressed 72.5kg, beating his personal best by 17.5kg, and until now had only competed in the bench press category.

"A couple of months ago I started learning two other disciplines," Mr Mason said.

"It's really good because I'd often wondered about the three lifts and if I could do them."

 

Derek Mason is a weightlifting sensation.
Derek Mason. Caitlin Zerafa

Mr Mason was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 13 years ago and is a member of Tewantin Noosa Parkinson's Support Group. where he is passionate about continuing to advocate his message that exercise is key to delaying the disease's progression.

Co-ordinator Nikki Creber said the group was very proud of their resident hero.

"Amongst our ... group Derek is considered a stalwart and absolute hero," Ms Creber said.

"It is often very difficult to move with Parkinson's as the messaging breaks down between brain and individual muscle groups as there is not dopamine in the system to be the conduit and freezing and shuffling and very slow movements result, so for Derek to manage these lifts without freezing too is amazing."

Mr Mason regularly trains and said exercise was key to managing his disease.

"My message to fellow sufferers of Parkinson's is to get up and exercise," he said.

"Get up and do it and you'll never regret it."

No rest for the wicked though, as it's straight back to the gym for the almost 80-year-old.

"I start training for next year when I go into the over 80s category."

"I will see you in January when I've broken more records," he laughed.

The Parkinson's support group meet on the second Friday of the month at Laguna Retirement Village. For more information call 0434149688.