By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF), Hazel Went, has disagreed with the notion there could soon be too many pro bodybuilders operating within the country.
Went, herself a former bodybuilder, was responding to questions surrounding the fact that Antigua and Barbuda no boasts 11 professionals in the sport with one being an IFBB Pro League athlete and the others being Eilte Pro.
“There are so many shows being offered regionally and internationally for the pros to participate in that I don’t know if there could be too many but I don’t think so. It is not necessarily because you become a pro that you need to continue as a pro. It’s like a graduation where you may move from high school to college but not everybody is leaving high school and going to college,” she said.
Rosian Warrington became the country’s first professional after winning the overall body-fitness title at the 2015 CAC Championships in the Bahamas and attain her IFBB Pro League status.
Since then, 10 other bodybuilders have gone on to claim professional status but in the Elite Pro category. They are Bernard Percival Jr, Elvis Bailey, Michelle Seaforth, Kimberly Percival, Leanna Carrington, She-Rhonda Greenaway, Gena Jules, Melissa Seaforth, Anthony Nurse and Randy Christopher.
Went said it is just the natural progression for athletes who are interested in higher-level competition.
“The sport has been moving on, moving forward and Antigua is making its name so we just have to hope we can do something with all of these pros now in Antigua and assist them in showcasing themselves. In order to be a pro you have to pass through the amateur [realm] anyway so it’s like a stepping stone for them and a stepping stone for the sport because we are all affiliated to the IFBB, pros and amateurs alike so, we’re one big happy family,” she said.
A two-member team will represent Antigua and Barbuda at this month’s Santo Domingo Open slated for October 22-24.
Bikini Fitness champion Makiva Elvin and Men’s Physique champion Duncan Corbin will fly the country’s flag at the IFBB Elite Pro Qualifier at the Teatro La Fiesta Hotel in Jaragua.