By Neto Baptiste
Bodybuilders competing in this month’s National Bodybuilding, Figure & Fitness National Championships, must do so while wearing masks.
This is the word from the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF), who said this is one of the many stipulations handed down by the health authorities.
Also, no spectators will be allowed at the venue as the competition, slated for August 28, will be streamed as a pay per view event by the federation.
PRO of the organisation, Melissa Seaforth, assured that this will not take away from the excitement and competitive nature of the nationals.
“Wearing the masks would not put any athlete at a disadvantage because while an athlete may feel they are not able to showcase their smile, I think the most important aspect is being able to showcase the body which is essentially what is being judged or the bigger part that is being judged,” she said.
An estimated 40 athletes will take the stage for what will be the first nationals in two year after the federation was forced to cancel their 2020 edition due to Covid-19 restrictions.
First Vice President of the federation, Kimberly Percival, said that in total, no more than 100 persons can be at the venue at the same time.
“We are going with Cathedral Cultural Center which is a smaller space, so it really limits our capacity to have physical persons in the space outside of the athletes, volunteers, judges and whatever personnel is deemed essential. We would have requested for 100 persons in the space and I think we are maybe 20 persons off from that, so I think with the count in terms of volunteers and so on, we are landing at about 80,” she said.
Individual would still however, be able to enjoy the show from the comfort of their homes via the federations private streaming on Facebook.
“We are going to stream it through Facebook and there will be a private group that is set up on our page and essentially, when you purchase your tickets on ticketing you will get a link that basically directs you to request to be added to the group and then everything in terms of pre-show promotions, exclusive interviews, the actual streaming of the show will be done in that group and that will be the only way to view the actual event,” the VP said. Tickets for the show cost $50 and can be purchased via the ticketing app. Fans are also encouraged to follow the federation’s social media pages for deals and promotions.