An event that wasn’t even sanctioned by the sport’s national governing body here in The Bahamas has sparked interest and invigorated new life in that sport for the remainder of the year, and going forward into 2022.
As a result of it being a National Physique Committee (NPC)/IFPP Pro League event, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) couldn’t throw its support behind the World Caribbean Championships and Puerto Rico Pro Qualifier at the Baha Mar resort at the end of June.
The BBFF is a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) and the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (CACBBFF) whose values and agenda are separate and apart from the NPC and the IFBB Pro League. The latter broke off from the IFBB about five years ago, forming two separate factions – the IFBB Elite and the IFBB Pro League.
The IFBB Elite continues to adhere to the original values and agenda of the IFBB.
Be that as it may, there was an abundance of enthusiasm over the spectacular show and pro qualifier last month. A total of 168 professional athletes and 63 amateurs from 17 countries took part in the foreign show. Also, a number of Bahamian athletes, who have switched their allegiance to the NPC/IFBB Pro League, took part. Despite the fact that no Bahamian took home any of the nine pro cards that were up for grabs, the show was considered a resounding success.
“The Puerto Rican pro show was a profound and clear indication that the sport of bodybuilding, fitness and wellness is alive,” said BBFF President Joel Stubbs. “There were a number of athletes here on our shores competing and enjoying the Bahamian product and its people. That’s another feather in the cap for tourism and also for the sport.
“Some of the athletes observed have decided to take their talents to the NPC stage and forego competing at our national or regional levels. I wish them well as I am a fan of the sport and the sky is the limit. However, in the interim, we will continue to work with others who have decided to stay with the federation and follow their dreams.”
Stubbs said he continues to see an infusion of talent coming into the sport in the midst of a pandemic. The BBFF National Championships has been canceled for 2021, due to financial constraints, but the CACBBFF Championships is still on, and Stubbs said they intend to commence their assessment process for the athletes who will make up Team Bahamas as early as this weekend.
The CACBBFF Championships is set for August 12-16 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
“We are rebounding and gaining forward momentum as we continue to encourage and remind many as to why they got started and to refocus their attention and energy on the goals that were set,” said Stubbs. “We have decided, after executive
collaboration, that we will engage in an enclosed screening and assessment session on July 24 to pick Team Bahamas for this year’s CAC Championships.”
Stubbs said they will continue to press forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to give opportunities to the bodybuilding and fitness athletes and the aspiring athletes in the sport, so that they could experience greatness.
“As the country continues to see brighter and positive days, we are in the same way very hopeful for brighter days in our sport,” he said. “We will be engaging in a campaign to encourage new recruits to our totally self-disciplined and beautiful sport. Despite this year’s setback, as an elite federation knowing that this too shall pass, you will definitely see our sport take flight again, come 2022.”
There will be 12 categories contested at the upcoming CACBBFF Championships, namely Men’s Bodybuilding, Men’s Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Fitness Model, Women’s Bikini, Women’s Wellness, Women’s Fitness, Women’s Figure, Women’s Physique, Women’s Bodybuilding and Women’s Fitness Model.
Stubbs said they intend to field a competitive team.
“We would like to thank the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for their contribution toward the growth and development of young athletes in The
Bahamas, in particular our sport; thank our local corporate sponsors who continue to come through in our most desperate times, and our fans and supporters who continue to bring the noise and the encouragement for the athletes,” said Stubbs. “We’re optimistic that we will see greatness out of our athletes at the CAC Championships and going forward into 2022 and beyond.”
The CACBBFF Championships will be the ultimate bodybuilding and fitness show for athletes still registered under the IFBB Elite in this region for 2021.
Following the assessment of athletes this weekend, it is anticipated that a quality team will be selected to represent The Bahamas at that regional event.