By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABBWF), Dave George, has credited proper preparation for the performance all seven athletes who competed in the Darcy Beckles Diamond Cup held in Barbados over the weekend.
Speaking on his return from Barbados, George said the federation played its part in ensuring that all of the athletes were in their best possible condition going into the pro qualifier.
“As I said when I was on the show before, we were having screenings regularly, three of them to be exact, so we saw the progression of the athletes so they were full of confidence and they all went down there and all of them did absolutely wonderfully well. All seven of them must be commended highly and especially the four pro card winners. It was a high level of competition,” he said.
Four of the seven athletes in Kimberly Percival (tall class Bikini), Leanna Carrington (short class Bikini), Michelle Seaforth (Bikini Fitness) and SherRhonda Braithwaite (Body Fitness), all topped their classes and were offered the opportunity to hold pro cards.
George commended the athletes for their hard work and dedication.
“Both Kimberly and SherRhonda have been knocking on the door hard for a while so I am very proud of them, and Leanna Carrington, she also has been working tremendously hard and then here comes Michelle Seaforth who competed for the first time last year in our nationals and this being only her second show, because nationals hasn’t come up yet for this year, and it’s her first overseas, and she went to Barbados and not only won her class but won the overall Bikini, and by virtue of that, the right to earn her pro card,” he said.
The president warns however, that should the athletes choose to accept their pro cards, the road only gets harder from there.
“When you get to the professional level, if you don’t have sponsors to send you to these professional shows then it is out-of-pocket and it could cost you, depending on where you’re going to compete in a professional show, a minimum of EC$7000 when you add up all of your expenses,” George said.
“What I like though is that some of the athletes recognize that because the pro shows and pro qualifiers are coming so close to home that it is less costly and so that is a good thing where it could encourage more professional athletes to look at specific shows to attend and to compete,” he added.
The athletes are expected to return to Antigua during the course of this week.