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More judges certified in bodybuilding and fitness

BBFF President Sumner pleased with the direction the sport is headed in
  • BODYBUILDING AND FITNESS: An additional two Bahamians recently became certified as judges in the sport of bodybuilding and fitness. They are now qualified to officiate at local or international competitions. The Northern Bahamas Championships is set for June 29 at the Regency Theatre in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the 40th BBFF National Championships is set for July 13 at the Theatre for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street. TNG FILE PHOTO

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Jun 19, 2013

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With two more Bahamian judges for the sport of bodybuilding and fitness recently becoming certified, the total number of locals is now close to 10, and BBFF President Danny Sumner said that he couldn’t be more pleased.

Porsha Tulloch and Sharon Sawyer completed their certification last month - the latter with the highest mark in the Caribbean region, 97 percent. They are now qualified to officiate at the Northern Bahamas Championships, set for June 29 at the Regency Theatre in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the 40th Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) National Championships, set for July 13 at the Theatre for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street. IFBB professional bodybuilder Dexter Jackson will be the guest poser at the Northern Bahamas Championships.

Also, the new judges are now qualified to serve as bodybuilding and fitness judges in international events.

“I’m happy to know that the training that I have done over the past 10 years to get our judges certified, is paying off,” said Sumner. “We were scrapping for judges and now we have a number of Bahamians who are certified and qualified. That is an outstanding accomplishment for The Bahamas. My job was to train as much Bahamians as possible and I was able to achieve that. I have about nine to 10 judges who qualified under my training. We probably have more qualified judges in our country than any other Caribbean country. The IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness) normally looks for a broad cross section of judges from various countries to officiate international events, and now we have about 10 active certified judges right here in The Bahamas.”

Tulloch, who serves as a special advisor to the president in the federation, and Sawyer are just the latest two judges to be certified. Trevor Bethel, Maurice Hall, Derrick Bullard and Simone Sawyer were in the group before them, and veterans Paul Wong, Richard Demeritte, Jeremy Knowles and Sumner himself add to the growing list of certified judges in The Bahamas.

“Judging in the sport is very complexed right now because you have bodybuilding, fitness, and you also have the swimsuit side, and they are all judged separately. That is what makes the accomplishment of these latest Bahamians to be certified so much more impressive,” said Sumner.

“In addition to that, five Bahamians went pro under my reign as president. That in itself is a great accomplishment. We are making strides in the sport of bodybuilding and fitness, and the future looks extremely bright.”

The five Bahamians who received their pro cards under Sumner were Charles Kemp, ‘Big’ Joel Stubbs, Natasha Brown in fitness, Jay Darling and Gena Mackey. As for the new judges, Sumner said that he will pick up their official judges cards at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness in the Dominican Republic from September 19-22.

As far at the national championships are concerned, Sumner confirmed that they will be having a high school division this year, and he expects at least nine high schools to compete. Also, the overall winners at the national championships will be deemed Mr. and Mrs. Independence Bahamas to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the nation’s independence.

Registration is ongoing, and the official weigh-in will be conducted on July 12 between 6-8 p.m. at Mystical Fitness Gym.

Also this year, the federation will be re-introducing its hall of fame inductions. The Class of 2013 will feature nine new members, namely Jeremy Knowles, Della Thomas, Maxine Darville, the late Melanie Feaste, Amos Saunders, Dwight Palacious, Baldwin Darling, Henry Charlton and Sam Williams. In order to be eligible for hall of fame induction, former athletes must have been retired for at least five years.

“We wanted to do our hall of fame inductions in conjunction with the national championships so that the young athletes could mix and mingle with the legends,” said Sumner.

“The inductions are going to be an actual event just like the professional leagues in the United States does. People will get to see the show, and also the hall of famers getting recognized at the same time. It is going to be a grand event.”

Also expected to be honored that night are former Mr. World Kingsley Poitier, Michael Curtis, Dr. Norman Gay, Leo Mackey, Richard Demeritte, Paul Wong, Danny Sumner himself, Edison Deleveaux, the husband and wife team of Ray and Jenny Whylley, Bert Bell, Sherwin Major and Arthur Eldon, just to name a few.

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