By Neto Baptiste
Bikini fitness pro, Kimberly Percival, believes that although the corporate community may not have a history of investing heavily in sports, athletes, particularly in bodybuilding, could also do more in an effort to convince businesses that their investing would not go unrewarded.
The athlete, who is currently preparing to compete at this year’s Arnold Sports Festival and professional bodybuilding competition in Seville, Spain, said local bodybuilders whether pro or amateur, must do more to make themselves more attractive to would-be sponsors.
“A lot of the time with athletes, you only hear or see them when nationals are four weeks away because it is a very hard sell if I am coming from a black and white unbiased position for you to pop up and say to me that I need $3000 to prepare for this show, but who are you and what do you represent? We have to make it mutually beneficial. I am not expecting everybody to be social media gurus but you have to think beyond I am going to the gym just to work out and represent a brand with yourself being a brand,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda recently registered its 11th professional bodybuilder after classic bodybuilding competitor, Randy Christopher, earned his IFBB Elite Pro Card at the Miami Grand Pix held in Florida last weekend.
Percival noted that more athletes from Antigua are taking the necessary steps that would allow them to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
“Randy was the only person that went to Miami, and as much as we went with a team of one and we came back home with that trophy and that pro card, it really makes me proud as an athlete, as an Antiguan and also as vice president of the ABBWF. I think that with us growing, I expect to see improved support from corporate sponsors and support locally because now, our numbers are increasing and I think that is something that is going to play in our favour, and we will have a larger voice as a more united body on the ABPBC [Antigua and Barbuda Professional Bodybuilders Committee] as well,” she said.
The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation will stage its national championships this Saturday at the Cathedral Cultural Center. The completion will be streamed virtually with no spectators allowed at the venue.