Press, charity work, and awards.

'Rory Girvan gets it off his chest'

Link to CALM Magazine article.   “When his employer refused to believe he was depressed and needed time off, Rory Girvan was sacked. Far from holding him back, this crisis moment catalysed a journey to becoming a powerlifting champion, an award-winning business owner and a mental health ambassador… CALM went to Rory’s gym in Belfast to learn more.”

'World's Strongest Man Urges NI men to open up'

Link to Belfast Live article. “A former world champion powerlifter and three time world champion strongman has urged men in Northern Ireland to open up about their mental health. American Bill Kazmaier is backing the efforts of local mental health charity, Niamh (the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health). Bill is calling on men of all ages to view opening up about their mental health not as a weakness but as a strength.”  

'Rory becomes Ambassador for Inspire'

Inspire Wellbeing article. “Northern Ireland and Ireland Powerlifting champion, Rory Girvan kindly volunteers his time to act as our Ambassador for Male Wellbeing. Rory who also owns and runs HENCH, a gym and fitness centre in Belfast City Centre has faced his own battle with depression. He now shares his experience and his own philosophy for keeping both body and mind ‘fit’ to help encourage men to speak up about their mental and emotional wellbeing, and seek help when they need it.”

'HENCH wins Three Best Rated Gym Award'

Link to award article. ” Three Best Rated® was created with a simple goal to find you the top 3 local businesses in any city. Our employees Handpick top 3 local businesses. We check business’s reviews, reputation, history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, nearness, trust, cost, general excellence using our 50-Point Inspection.”

'Raising Awareness for Niamh'

Link to Belfast Telegraph article. “A few years ago Rory Girvan was overweight, drinking too much and in despair. Now, to mark Men’s Health Week, the Belfast gym owner reveals how getting fit transformed his life. At first glance, champion weight lifter Rory Girvan appears to have it all … he owns and runs his own Belfast city centre gym, Hench, which has produced a string of world class sports men and women, he is a successful athlete in his own right and has a devoted girlfriend. But Rory (30) has fought a lifelong battle with depression, during which time his weight ballooned to 17 stone, he hit the bottle and would often lie in bed for days wondering if he would ever be happy or enjoy life again.”  

'Mental wellbeing promotion'

Link to Newsletter article. “Rory Girvan is at the top of his game as the current All-Ireland Powerlifting Champion – but the Belfast man has been through many dark days with depression. Here he tells Graeme Cousins how exercise and strength training helped him cope with this debilitating mental illness. Belfast man Rory, who refers to himself as the former overweight depressed guy, is the current All-Ireland Powerlifting Champion who founded one of Belfast’s most respected strength coaching gymnasiums – HENCH.”    


Link to Belfast Live article. “Tomorrow, 30-year-old Rory Girvan will complete in the All-Ireland powerlifting championships. It’s quite an achievement for the North Belfast man, already NI champ, but it’s even more of an achievement when you get a glimpse of what he’s been through to get here.

Since he was a teenager, Rory has battled through his own mental health demons – and it’s fair to say that he’s coming out on top.”

IRISH NEWS article

Link to Irish News article. “A MENTAL health charity teamed up with a powerlifting champion at the weekend to promote the link between physical fitness and mental wellbeing. Niamh, the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health, and Northern Ireland powerlifter Rory Girvan met with shoppers and staff at Sainbury’s Holywood Exchange – which has chosen the organisation as its charity of the year – to raise awareness about support services for those battling depression and mental health problems…”


Link to Princes Trust article. “The Ulster Bank Enterprise award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise. A few years ago Rory suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and depression. When he lost his job because of mental health stigma, he decided to return to exercising and start his own business. Rory used his experience of adversity to motivate him. He soon achieved the title of overall Powerlifting Champion for Northern Ireland and narrowly missed taking the top title at the World Powerlifting Championships in 2013.”  

BBC Newsline Article

Link to BBC Newsline Article. “Rory Girvan is hoping his story will encourage more men to use physical activity to help develop their mental wellbeing. Rory knows first hand about the benefits training provides and says everyone should find something they enjoy from “physiological and physical perspective”. The champion powerlifter has a final message for anyone who has any hesitations about getting active: ‘Just do it. Get Involved.’

#1 Way to Get Fit in Belfast

Link to Belfast Vibe article. “There’s a strict rule of no selfies in Hench… unless you’re The Mountain from Game of Thrones.”

Rory Girvan turns on power to be Ireland's top lifter

Link to Belfast Telegraph article. “Belfast’s Rory Girvan has powered his way to become the best Irish lifter of all time in his weight class at the World Powerlifting Championships in Glasgow at the weekend.”

Belfast Live Article   “Michael Cullen’s gym pals are hoping to raise £1,000 for every year he lived, to support mental health charities.

HENCH in Belfast counted the artist and rapper as its original member when it launched with his help six years ago.”