Muscle, fitness on show Saturday
Barbados’ premier bodybuilding and fitness event comes off Saturday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre with more than 70 athletes slated to hit the stage.
Bodybuilding and fitness are in transition as the IFBB strives to move the amateur ranks from the more extreme disciplines to mainstream and attainable physiques.
Classic Men’s Physique will make its debut as the bridge between Men’s Physique and the traditional bodybuilding, utilising fewer poses and black spandex posing shorts. Bikini wellness is another division on the horizon, already seen in South America, which allows for a larger toned bikini competitor especially in the thighs and glutes.
Andre Bascombe, Nicholas Best and Hugo Greaves are among a group of young men who requested and are pleased with the introduction of Classic Men’s Physique. History will be made as Barbados will demonstrate this division even before its Central American and Caribbean Championships debut in the Dominican Republic from September 29 to October 2, 2016.
The number of competitors in men’s bodybuilding has steadily decreased at the CAC level and with it the quality of the competitors. It is the most difficult pursuit as there is no room for complacency or lethargy. Fortunately there is still a complement of top performers locally. Hoskyn Worrell has retired and left Laron Gibson, Stevenson Belle, Ramon Broomes, Samuel Eastmond and Shaquille Lavine as the top contenders for the vacated crown.
Men’s physique is now the biggest draw for female fans and local male competitors. CAC Short Class Champion Hadley Hoyte heads eighteen contenders for the Mr Barbados title. Also contending will be Marlon Dottin and Jamil Jones who are both 2014 CAC divisional champions. Ryan Haynes, the 2015 Mr Barbados, should also not be counted out. Michael Thompson, Kirk Bovelle, Andrew Mason, Jermaine Reynolds and Julian Belgrave will all be trying to make a name for themselves at the national level.
There are nine females registered for body fitness, representing the best field of athletes assembled in recent years. Tamesha Lewis is the most successful amateur in this division with multiple Miss Barbados, Eastern Caribbean and CAC crowns. Her return to the stage after a four-year break is much anticipated.
Ramona Morgan has a point to prove after taking a year off to refine her physique. She is also a perennial Miss Barbados and CAC queen. Dionne Thompson tasted success in her first CAC attempt and heads the lesser experienced challengers including Kara-Lyn Belle (Miss Barbados 2015) and her (Dionne’s) sister Lynette Thompson who is the reigning Miss Bridgetown. Rean Gibson from Surfside Fitness made an impressive debut last year at nationals and is a dark horse to win the overall.
Julia Davis and Deidre Archer of J & S Fitness Academy continue to represent Women’s Physique while Nikita Robinson is using this contest to fine-tune for glory in Women’s Fitness at the CAC.
Preliminary registrations are at 24 for the star attraction Women’s Bikini Fitness. The former Central American and Caribbean queens contending include Natalie Webb-Howell, Lana Richards, and Melissa Burrowes in their first step towards qualifying for the region’s premier CAC event. Shakira Doughlin, the reigning Miss Barbados, Janesia Pitt the reigning Miss Bridgetown Tall Class, Alisha Barnett who is Miss Bridgetown Overall and Julia Haynes, Miss ABC Fitness are examples of the high pedigree of competitors in this group.
Tomorrow night is being viewed as a celebration of bodybuilding and fitness on stage, to be followed by the presentation of the Winfield Bascombe Memorial Award and other special awards. Trophies, prizes and individual selections to compete at the CAC are also at stake.
Sponsors for the extravaganza are ALLMAX Nutrition, Hilton Barbados, Mint Condition Industrial Services, Ace Pharmacy, City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Ltd, and Hott 95.3 FM and Aesthetic Dental.
Showtime starts at 6 p.m.