Charles Reckley, a seasoned bodybuilder, won the men’s bodybuilding title at the 2019 Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) 46th Annual Novice and National Championships inside the New Providence Ballroom at the Meliá Nassau Beach resort on Saturday evening.
Also coming out victorious in the overall divisions were Shakira Ferguson in open bikini, Kiat Young in open men’s physique, Nadia Vanderpool in women’s wellness, David Dormavil in the novice men’s physique and Fania Joseph in the novice bikini.
Despite the threat of unfavorable weather conditions due to the passage of Hurricane Dorian, many fans and spectators came out and supported the athletes for their hard work over the past few months. Reckley will have the Mr. Bahamas title for another year. He said he felt great about it and that he will make this one his last one.
“I feel great about winning the Mr. Bahamas title a third time in a row. I will give someone else a chance to take the Mr. Bahamas title so I will make this one my last one,” Reckley said.
The compact bodybuilder said he loves the sport and hopes to compete overseas more and obtain his pro card.
The men’s physique had 13 athletes competing – the most of any division. Coming out unscathed as the national overall champion was Kiat Young who was in the tall class. He defeated Dormavil (short class) and Demetrius Clarke (medium class) in the final round. Young returned to the stage after taking a break from competition.
“I feel awesome. I would say it’s like back from the dead and coming back with a vengeance. I proved my point because this is my passion, having worked out for 10-plus years. It feels good to come back in the game,” Young said. “This is my passion and a lifestyle – it is time for me to go pro now. The plan is to make some money.”
Shakira Ferguson won her second national bikini title in three years, defeating novice winner Fania Joseph and Tanza Thompson.
“It feels awesome and great that I actually got the overall title again. I always do well in my division. I always carry the gold for that but you feel extra special when you get the overall so it is awesome,” Ferguson said.
She added that other females who want to get into the sport should not have any inhibitions.
“I would say to them that when you are on that stage, it is a little difficult but once you are there you own that stage. I am a person who believes in health. Bodybuilding is not just about muscles, it is about your health. This keeps me going every day, it keeps me in shape and helps me to eat properly with proper dieting and food. It is also mental,” Ferguson said.
She said the dieting is hard but once an athlete has focus and stickability, he or she could achieve anything.
As for next year, Ferguson said that Bahamians may not see her at the nationals, but hopefully on the international stage as a pro.
Nadia Vanderpool was the winner in the women’s wellness division. She began competing in her 30’s and is now in her 40’s.
“I feel wonderful. It has been an awesome experience. I have been working year after year to get to this point. This is the best shape I have been in so far. I am really happy with the package that I brought to the stage. It makes me want to push and makes me want to do even better,” she said.
Vanderpool encourages other women to get involved in the sport. She said that she can see the improvement in herself, adding muscles to her legs and developing her lower abs to get her body to where she needs to be.
Roberta Wheeler was victorious in the women’s figure division.
The men’s sports spokesmodel division was won by Lincoln Knowles.
One of the up-and-coming stars in the sport is Dormavil. He came up short in men’s physique overall but was the overall novice winner in that division and is looking to improve each time he goes on the stage.
“It is a pleasure. I want to say that if you have a passion and want to do something, just go after it, go hard and be disciplined. Afterwards, you will be proud of yourself,” he said.
He said that competing both as a novice and in the nationals was his goal this year, and added that he wants to go pro. The 27-year-old athlete encouraged other young persons to give the sport a try.
Joel Stubbs, president of the BBFF, said that because of Hurricane Dorian, they could not have the athletes from Freeport, Grand Bahama, in for the championships.
From these championships, athletes will be assessed, evaluated and a national team will be selected by Saturday, September 14. Stubbs said he will give the Freeport athletes a chance to get on the team.
Selected individuals will head to the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness’ (IFBB) Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Championships from October 11-14. That event was slated for Puerto Rico, but due to challenges that the country faced, it had to be moved. According to Stubbs, the various presidents of the regional federations, executives and some of the sponsors, supported the move of the CAC Championships to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Stubbs thanked the general public for coming out and supporting the athletes on Saturday.