By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH former professional bodybuilder Joel Stubbs now at the helm, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation is hoping to see a resurgence in its programme this year.
Already, close to 40 competitors from around the Bahamas have signed up to compete in the 42nd National Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships set for 8pm Saturday at the Melia Hotel. The event will serve as the qualifier for the Bahamas’ team for the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, scheduled for September 24-27 at Atlantis.
“The anticipation and the hype is really growing right now from the athletes and the ticket sales,” Stubbs said. “It’s just a matter of time now before we see a very impressive and well put together professional show this year at the nationals.”
With so many competitors expected to be on stage this year, Stubbs advised them following a meeting with the local competitors on Saturday to just go and “have some fun,” which is what the sport is all about as they develop some friendship.
And as the focus will be on the competitive end, Stubbs said the men’s bodybuilding segment will be very competitive with the “best of the best” with competitors like Paul ‘Mighty Mouse’ Wilson, Charlie ‘Soldier Boy’ Johnson, Jimmy Norius, Joey Rolle, Julian Davis, Chris McQueen, Jamal Hamilton and Maurice Moore from Grand Bahama just to name a few.
The women’s bikini and the women’s figure, according to Stubbs, will be the showcase for the night. However, there are only two competitors entered in the women’s physique - Lorraine LaFleur and Tanya Moxey - who will be back to continue their matchup from last year. Women’s physique has replaced the women’s bodybuilding segment. “I think Grand Bahama will be bringing down about eight women and we have another 7-10 women from Nassau competing in the various categories in the bikini and women’s figure, so that is going to be something to really keep your eyes on,” Stubbs said.
Since taking over from long time president Danny Sumner last year, Stubbs said they have been able to bring a more family oriented atmosphere to the federation that was lacking over the last few years.
“I think they had a lot of disconnect in the federation and we are trying to bring it back as one,” Stubbs said. “We want them to be good to each other, respect each other and let the judges at the end of the day decide who is the winner. Once you could do that, I think at the end of the day, you can swell the sport even better with the image of the sport.”
Vice president Kenny Greene said so far, they have been getting some favourable responses for the new executive board now in place. “From my travels throughout the food stores and the community, just on the street, people who know me and who know Joel Stubbs, say they anticipate good things happening for the federation,” said Greene, another former bodybuilder who has also devoted his time to improving the moral and competitive level within the sport.
“The general public is very excited, so I think we are going to have a full house. We have a new executive team, who have high expectations and are working very diligently and very hard. We have some very experienced persons who have been around the sport and competing and participating in bodybuilding and fitness, so we have a very strong executive team.”
The executives, according to Greene, put God first in everything that they are doing because they want to lead by example and so far, he indicated that persons have been more respective to Stubbs and what he is trying to do within the federation.
“Whatever we have to discuss, we discuss it in a very open and respectful and informative point of view,” Greene said. “We try to encourage and not superimpose our authority over anyone within the federation, even though we recognise the head in Joel Stubbs, who has been recognised around the world as a competitor, as we try to make the federation better than where we met it.”
Greene said once they are completed with their programme this year, the federation will be willing to assist any and all local associations and federations with their programmes, especially from the physical fitness side in an effort to ensure that they take their athletes to the next level.
Note: In Wednesday’s edition, some of the competitors will talk about their expectations for the championships.