Novice class returns to National Bodybuilding Championships as first-timers seek to cross stage

2 body nationals
PRO of the bodybuilding federation, Melissa Seaforth
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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF), for the first time in over 10 years, will feature a novice division during its National Championships slated for June 25.

The move, according to the federation’s Public Relations Officer, Melissa Seaforth, is an effort to level the playing field among first time competitors.

“We wanted to give those persons who are scared of entering a bodybuilding show and going up against the great Makeva Elvin [defending bikini champion] or the Duncan Corbin [defending men’s physique champion] because you’re a little nervous.

“I believe Shari Dickenson-Matthew will be participating in the novice so she would be a prime example of someone who is maybe a little nervous about touching the stage, but doesn’t mind touching the stage with other novice athletes, so you would want to say the playing field is more even,” she said.

A number of the country’s top bodybuilders are preparing for the 2022 National Championships, including close to six who will compete for the first time.

Seaforth, an IFBB Eilte Pro in the bikini fitness category, offered some advice to the excited athletes.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster so just don’t get too obsessed with the body because one day you think you look amazing, and the next day you’re in the mirror and telling your coach ‘I don’t like how I look’ and that you don’t think you’re going to be ready and you could reach the stage of crying and breaking down or having these anger moments but just take it all in stride. Right now, the athletes should be focusing on mental because that is the most important thing right now,” she said.

The PRO assured that all the pieces are coming together for the anticipated championships.

“The trophies are at our freight forwarders and they should land in Antigua this week. We will clear them, label them and I know that is what the athletes are looking forward to the most, in terms of the hardware they are working so hard for, so rest assured that we will be ready,” she said.

“Tickets are going fast, and we really want to encourage the public to don’t be that person outside angry because you can’t see your friend, your niece, your co-worker or your daughter, so get your tickets early. We are not at the Multipurpose Center, so it’s not business as usual. It’s a smaller venue so you want to make sure you have your tickets secured,” she added.

Tickets for the show cost $80 in advance while patrons will pay $100 at the door.

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