‘Prodigy’ isn’t a word that gets thrown around very easily, but 25-year-old Maltese athlete Yazmin Zammit Stevens definitely deserves the title.
The young athlete has only been weightlifting for the past three years, but she’s already broken the national record over 70 times. She’s the first Maltese woman to ever put 100kilos over her head, and now, she’s hoping to make it all the way to the next Olympic Games. To do so, though, she’s banking on some help from her fellow compatriots.
“Two years ago, qualifying for the Commonwealth Games seemed impossible,” Yazmin said of her latest accomplishment at the prestigious Gold Coast competition, where she placed seventh overall. “But in true Yazmin fashion, I made sure I was on that stage. I had just graduated from University with a Bachelors degree in Maths & Statistics, and decided to put work aside for a while to train full time and see where this sport would take me. And well… here I am!”
As you’d expect, qualifying for the Olympics is no mean feat.
In the next two years building up to the 2020 event in Tokyo, Yazmin will be competing at several events all around the world to build all the necessary experience. She will be appearing in championships all over the globe, from Georgia and Poland to Samoa and Thailand.
Yazmin, who won Malta’s most recent Sportswoman of the Year Award, will also be taking part in international training camps leading up to these major events, all of which can last anywhere from two weeks to two months.
And while she does get financial help from the Malta Weightlifting Association, the Malta Olympic Committee and Sport Malta, it’s not nearly enough. “I’m a full-time athlete who dedicates eight hours of the day to the gym and the remaining to stretching, eating and recovering,” Yazmin explained. And it’s for that reason that’s she’s asking the island for some help.
Yazmin’s current goals have been set at a €8,000 target
In between all the flights, accommodation, competition fees, membership fees, coaching fees, and any other expenses, the young Maltese athlete’s financial target might seem like a tough one to achieve. But after all the help she gets from MWA, MOC and Sport Malta, that number nearly halves.
Hoping to reach her target by the start of November, Yazmin has some awesome goodies in return to anyone who supports her cause.
“I’ve worked with the amazing Roberta Grech, who helped design a T-shirt for this campaign with the slogan #SupportTheDream,” Yaz said. She went on to say that anyone getting the t-shirt would be featured on her Instagram feed if they had to post a picture of themselves in the t-shirt.
“I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you,” Yaz told her family, friends and fans on her fundraising page. “Every little helps, and I am determined to try my very best to get there and to make Malta proud!