Police open gym in honour of officer turned professional bodybuilder

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By Carlena Knight

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Just two months after the opening of the country’s first police medical clinic, law enforcement will now benefit from a new state of the art gym.

The facility, which was the brainchild of the Police Welfare Association and named the Randy M. Christopher Top Notch Fitness Centre after one of its officers who is also a professional bodybuilder, was officially opened on Thursday at the Police Headquarters on American Road, just yards from the clinic. 

 Sergeant Christopher, who was in attendance at the ceremony, said he was elated and humbled by the gesture.

“It is an honour and a privilege for me to have such a beautiful facility in my name. I am truly humbled. I have received many trophies, many plaques, medals, memorabilia I cherish everyday, all of which represent a period of blood, sweat, tears.

“However, I must say this moment right here, this moment right now, has etched out a place in my heart that not even words can explain,” Christopher said.

He not only thanked everyone involved in the birth of the gym but also encouraged his fellow officers to use it and get fit, while appreciating and respecting it.

Special commendation was also given by Sergeant Christopher to the Police Welfare Association which was his platinum sponsor for the past three years.

“If it were not for them I would not be where I am today and achieved what I did,” he added.

Christopher recently became the latest athlete from the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation (ABAWF) to earn his pro card.

In August, he competed at the Miami Grand Prix finishing first in Classic Bodybuilding and second in Men’s Classic Physique. It was that first place finish, however, that helped Christopher secure his pro card, the country’s 11th athlete to do so in the last six years.

He is also the first police officer in the country to become a professional athlete in any sport.

Talk of a new gym was initially made by Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney at the September opening of the Maple Southwell Medical Clinic.

Former Chairman of the PWA Roosevelt Browne, while speaking at the ceremony yesterday, shared his elation and became visibly emotional that the gym has now become a reality, saying it had “not been an easy road to ensure that it came into being”.

Chairman of the PWA Marilyn Harris also shared her joy over the facility. She said the gym will also be open to the public for a fee of $50 a month.

She added that the gym will not only aid in the improved fitness of the force but will also be used as a beacon “to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community”.

The gym will be open from 5am-9pm daily.

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