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BBFF hands out year-end awards

Grand Bahama completely dominated the awards presentation of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) this year, taking all but one of the athlete of the year awards.  According to BBFF President Danny Sumner, the feat is unprecedented, showing how far The Bahamas has progressed in the sport.

“All of the award winners with the exception of Lynden (men’s lightweight Lynden Fowler) are from Freeport.  That right there is history in the making,” said Sumner.  “This is the first time that Freeport has dominated the awards presentation and that goes to show the tremendous strides that they are making in bodybuilding and fitness in the nation’s second city.  Hats off to the athletes and coaches in Grand Bahama for outstanding jobs this year,” he added.

Grand Bahamians Rob Harris and Tammy Stubbs were named as the male and female ‘Athletes of the Year’ respectively.  Both athletes won their respective divisions at the Grand Bahama Championships and BBFF Nationals this year.  In addition, Harris was named as the ‘Most Muscular Bodybuilder’ at the nationals while Stubbs took home the ‘Best Poser’ award.  Both competed at the 39th Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Amateur Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships in El Salvador, and both returned with medals.  Harris won a bronze medal in the men’s heavyweight division at the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) event, and Stubbs won the gold medal, taking the top spot in the women’s lightweight division.

Also, Stubbs was named the federation’s number one athlete for 2011, winning the Hubert Wong ‘Athlete of the Year’ award.  Wong, one of the founding members of the federation and a pacesetter in the sport in the country, passed away this year.

“Both Tammy and Rob had excellent years,” said Sumner.  “For Stubbs, to win a gold medal at the CAC level is not an easy task and she was able to pull it off, and came very close to winning the overall title and securing her pro card.  Lorraine Lefleur also had a very good year in female bodybuilding but Tammy edged her out, basically because of her performance at the CAC level.  When you look at the team which competed at the CAC Championships in El Salvador, it was a very small team but it returned with excellent results, and that kind of summed up what kind of year it was in bodybuilding,” added Sumner.

The women’s fitness ‘Athlete of the Year’ award went to Charnice Bain – a unanimous selection – and Dominique Wilkinson was a unanimous choice in body fitness.  Wilkinson was named the ‘Most Improved Athlete’ at the CAC Championships.  The swimsuit division was implemented into the program this year, and Neomie Fatal was able to win the ‘Most Outstanding Athlete’ award in that division.  The ‘Most Improved Male Athlete’ award was shared between Harris and men’s lightweight Lynden Fowler, and Stubbs and Wilkinson shared the ‘Most Improved Female Athlete’ award.

“All of the athletes did very well this year and we are very proud of all of them,” said Sumner.  “With the swimsuit competition, that was something that the federation embarked on this year and that proved to be very successful.  That was started in Grand Bahama and a number of athletes embraced it and expressed interest in it continuing from year to year.”

As for the 10-member team which competed at the CAC Championships this year, they returned with seven medals and a second place finish overall.  In addition to Stubbs’ gold medal, veteran Raymond Tucker won a silver medal in the men’s welterweight division.  He was the runner-up to Harris for the male ‘Athlete of the Year’ award.  Also from that team, Wilkinson won a silver medal in body fitness ‘A’ class, CJ Hilton secured a silver medal in body fitness ‘C’ class, Charnice Bain won a silver medal in overall fitness, Lorraine Lefleur brought home a bronze medal in women’s heavyweight, and Harris won a bronze in the men’s light heavyweight division.

Host country El Salvador won the championships with 168 points, The Bahamas followed with 102 points, and Trinidad & Tobago rounded out the top three.  Stemming from those 39th annual championships and general assembly was the formation of an anti-doping commission for the CAC region.  Bahamian Dr. Cyprian Strachan was elected as the doping and medical advisor.  Sumner, who also serves as the vice president of the CAC region, said that there has been a major reduction in positive drug tests among all of the athletes from throughout the region.

As for next year, Sumner said that they intend to start things off with the 2nd Annual Fun/Run Walk.

“That didn’t go too well this year but this was the first time we staged it so it was on a trial basis,” said Sumner.  “It’s based on physical fitness really.  We feel that this should set the tone for a number of events,” he added.

The Fun/Run Walk is expected to be held in March, a judges seminar and a high school championships are set for Grand Bahama, and once again, the Novice Championships are set for right here in New Providence, in May.  In addition, Sumner said that they are looking at the possibility of having the National Championships in Grand Bahama next year.

He concluded by thanking the fans, sponsors the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Peter Nygard, BTC and Nassau Agencies, and the athletes and coaching team led by Stephen Robinson, for contributing to a very good year for the federation.

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