The Athlete sponsorship program was created to elevate athletes to reach their potential in a sport that has given so much to us. It is our way of giving back. Each athlete must show qualities beyond just being strong, they must live the values of EPIC and be the hero to their own story.
JASON PAGAN aka Dad or Jase
Jason has been athletic for most of his life. He played a vast range of sports as a teen and into his early twenties. Playing from Brisbane and Queensland Rep sides across soccer and rugby. He even dabbled in some middle distance/marathon running, which for those who know Jase now, will find hard to believe as he likes to quote “the thick life chose me”!
Once he started lifting he quickly realized he was averagely strong with little experience and loved the challenge and idea of putting something unreasonable on your back and beating it time and time again. Then things got serious; now 3 years into powerlifting and he has won a Nationals Qualifier in the 110’s, competed at States in both GPC/Capo and was invited and competed at the GPC 2016 Nationals.
Jase was chosen for one specific reason above all else: he just wants to help you reach something unreasonable and that you didn’t think you could ever do. Watching him in the gym helping everyone and anyone is truly EPIC.
CERI SPURRELL aka Seri, Seritown, Sez
Five years ago she decided to get healthy and lose weight to gain some self-confidence (nothing boosts your self-confidence faster than being able to do something that others can’t, was her thinking). It was the first time that she ever lifted any weights. Since then chasing strength led her to start powerlifting a little over a year ago. The atmosphere of powerlifting competitions and teams have made, for her, the happy escape from the reality of being a grown up, and a platform where she can absolutely dominate.
Though she trains like a 5-year-old child (albeit a reasonably strong one), she has the ability to switch that over to unreal, relentless focus when its game time. Under EPIC Ceri has placed 3rd at GPC QLD States 2016, 1st at GPC Spring Cup 2016 and had an invitation to the 2016 GPC Nationals. Currently holding 4 GPC National Records.
“Some days I still don’t believe that I am strong but it’s those mental games and personal surprises that make powerlifting so much fun.” She was chosen for her ability that in any situation, anything can be solved by having fun and laughing as loud as you can!
STELLA ROSE aka White Gurl or Stellarino
Stella never thought competing at a National level in a sport where you lift really heavy things off the floor was possible for her. With no previous background in sports, Stella started training as she decided she was the only one who was going to break the family cycle of being overweight, and chasing challenges is very clearly in her nature. She is passionate about anything that provides you with empowerment, for different people this means different things. However, for her this means powerlifting.
In her words, “To me it builds mental toughness, self-confidence, physical strength and nothing is better than the atmosphere of a powerlifting gym or competition, or the people that come along with it. It truly is an addiction!
“Since joining the EPIC team I have improved an incredible amount not just in numbers but as an overall athlete. I added over 25kgs to my total in 12 weeks, competed at a national level for the first time giving me a class 2 qualifying total that will hopefully secure my spot to compete in the GPC open nationals next year.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the EPIC team. Being around a group of super strong and supportive people within EPIC really reminds you, you can do anything you set your mind to, on or off the platform. You really are your own hero and once you believe that, my friends, is when the fun really begins! Watch this space”
Stella was chosen for her ability to, no matter what is going on in her life, instantly support and help those to feel the same empowerment.
LUKE POLI aka Big Dog Poli
Luke has always had a competitive nature about him. From a young age of 12 Luke competed nationally and internationally in both shot put and discus events, and provided him the opportunity to represent the Australian Defence Force at the pre-trial for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Competing internationally was always destined for him.
Luke’s desire for strength continued after he finished throwing, by transitioning into the sport of powerlifting. Work commitments prevented him from getting too serious about the sport until early 2013 when he joined the GPC Australia Powerlifting Federation, taking third place at his first national championship totaling 800kg Raw. Luke also got invited to his first Pro Raw competition that year placing second to Brandon Lilly with an 855kg total. Fast forward to now and Luke has won the 3 GPC Australia National titles in the 140kg class, podium finished at Pro Raw 5, 6 and 7, placed top 5 at the Pro Raw 8 at the Australian Arnold Classic 2016. Then this year to compete on the biggest powerlifting international stage placing 7th at Pro Raw Big Dogs. His best lifts to date are 375kg squat, 235kg bench, 335kg deadlift and a 932.5kg total, and, at 39 years of age, he is just getting started…
Powerlifting aside, Luke is a dad to 3 lads, is a Chartered Engineer and Certified Project Management Professional, and a loving partner to a beautiful woman. Luke believes it’s time to start giving back to something that has given him an incredible amount of strength on and off the platform.