By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF) will, for the first time in five years, host a powerlifting competition.
This was revealed by the body’s first vice president and bikini fitness pro, Kimberly Percival, who said athletes will get an opportunity to put their weightlifting skills on display on March 5 when the anticipated competition is held.
“We will have three lifts in deadlift, bench press and squats. There will be male and female categories, juniors, seniors and masters, with masters being over 40 and juniors being 23 and under, and seniors being anything in between there [masters and juniors]. It is also going to serve, obviously, as a fundraiser for our upcoming year which we expect huge things from bodybuilding as in 2021,” she said.
Percival, who said interest in the event has been building in the various gyms across the island, said the federation is hoping that resurrecting the powerlifting competition will generate additional public interest in the sport.
“What we are looking to do is broaden our membership, broaden our audience and broaden the engagement we are bringing to the public and not only appeal to the bodybuilders who are looking to be ready on stage but also the enthusiasts who may be in the gyms building on their strength so that is why we are bringing forth a powerlifting event,” the reigning Bikini Fitness Arnold Classic champion said.
The VP revealed also that the given the complications caused by the ongoing pandemic, the federation is hoping to stream the competition live while still offering the option to those patrons who want to visit the venue.
“The online viewing, virtual or pay per view viewing was very successful and it gave us an opportunity to market to not only local persons but our followers, supporters and enthusiasts across the region and the world. We had people turn in [to nationals] from across the US, Canada, the UK. Family members of athletes who are not physically here so the ideal would be to have a hybrid of both in-house viewing and still have a virtual aspect to the event,” Percival said.
A venue and time for the event has not yet been announced by the federation. The powerlifting competition was last held in 2017 with Kelvin Valentine taking the heavyweight crown and Glenroy Goodwin taking the lightweight category.