By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
The Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation announced its calendar of local events with several traditional initiatives set to make their return in 2022.
This summer will feature the organisation’s Family Fun, Run and Walk fundraiser (June 11), followed by the Northern Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships (July 2) hosted in Grand Bahama and the Bodybuilding and Fitness Novice and National Championships (July 16) hosted in New Providence.
BBFF President Joel Stubbs called it a period of re-engagement and reinvigoration for the federation, its athletes and the Bahamian public at large.
“I'm pleased to announce that this year Bodybuilding Wellness and Fitness will return to the public. We are so happy and excited that the government has given the green light on the resumption of sports in The Bahamas and so many of our athletes are looking forward to this opportunity to showcase their talent to the local Bahamian people and be in a position to make the [CAC] national team to travel to Bridgetown, Barbados,” Stubbs said. “We are looking forward to this year to be a revitalising and energising year for us. Of course everybody knows that the COVID-19 pandemic crippled all of the sport disciplines and we are happy to know that we are back on our feet.
“The athletes are excited and of course we want to take it to another level. We want to encourage the public, encourage the corporate sponsorship that we are in dire need of. This is a non profit sport and we are doing our best to pour into these athletes in The Bahamas to give them that opportunity to showcase themselves and represent the Bahamas on the international stage. We want to thank the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for stepping up in a large way and providing us with some of the financials needed to further the sport along so we want to encourage corporate Bahamas to join us and assist us as well.”
The Northern Bahamas Championships returns to Grand Bahama for the first time since 2017. And will be hosted July 2 at the Grand Lucayan Ballroom at 7pm in Freeport. Tickets are priced at $20 for general admission and $30 VIP (25$ and 35$ at the door respectively).
“Many of the athletes in Grand Bahama are so excited about showcasing their talent once again and it has been a long time for Grand Bahamians. As the government does its venture to get Grand Bahama back on its feet, we want fitness to be a part of it to energise and revitalise the island,” Stubbs said.
“Athlete participation was dampened a bit with no shows. Persons were training but not to their full potential because they were waiting and wondering when we would be able to bring things back to give them these opportunities to compete and be in a position to make the national team travel. Now that it has been announced, we are hoping that will be gearing up and I am hoping a lot of them will get deeper in the trenches to get ready and give it all they have to see if they can be the victor at the end of the night.”
BBFF executive Nardo Dean said that the return of the Northern Championships has come at an opportune time for a myriad of reasons.
“It comes at a fantastic time with the reopening of the Grand Lucayan hotel. Maybe we will be one of the first sporting events held at that location under new management. We are partnering with the Port Authority so hopefully other sponsors will come onboard. It's a reopening not only for sports in the country but for Grand Bahama to focus on the economy and open doors for our athletes there who also deserve a chance,” Dean said. “Grand Bahamian athletes have always taken a lead role in national teams and we are some of the regional leaders in the CAC region so we need to make sure these are have the opportunities to not only rep the Bahamas but to take bodybuilding and fitness to the world.”
The Novice and National Championships will be hosted July 16 at a venue to be announced at a later date.
It features 11 open categories including bodybuilding, figure, men’s/women’s physique, wellness, men’s/women’s fitness, bikini and muscular physique among others.
In addition to national team roster spots, competitors will also be vying for cash, trophies, prizes and the return of the sport’s cover spokes model category. The winner will be the official face of the BBFF’s Health and Fitness 2023 campaign.
For further information, email the federation at email@example.com.
Prior to the competitions on stage, Dean said the Family Fun, Run hosted on June 11 will serve as a fundraising and community outreach project.
The course will begin and end at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Interested participants can register at any local gym.
“We are appealing to a lot of the track groups, runners out there, insurance companies, medical companies, anybody that already has a network of hosting these types of events to become involved. We reached out to various federations because we want to include our partners in the sporting industry,” Dean said. “There is a category for everyone. We want to show we are hosting fundraising events to help and support ourselves.
Despite a lack of local competitions, the BBFF fielded an eight-member team for the 2021 Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships that captured two gold, three silver and three bronze medals in San Salvador, El Salvador,
With a return to local competition this year, Dean said he expects The Bahamas to continue its impressive showing regionally with an even larger contingent.
“We are really asking the government agencies to support us and especially the private corporations for their sponsorships. We need your help, the athletes ate training extremely hard, bodybuilding is very expensive and it is really taxing on the body and they go all out,” he said, “There are more diamonds in the rough, we just need that opportunity and we are depending on you to make that happen.”