Zim bodybuilding spreads wings wider

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THE National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness (NFZBBF)  is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to make the muscle and fitness discipline bigger and better locally, regionally and internationally.
A number of contests make a welcome return after several years of absence due to a number of factors ranging from apathy, minimal stakeholder engagement and support and lack of funding among other reasons.
The local bodybuilding mother body however, is not stopping at making sure the yesteryear contests return but are also going a gear up and ensuring that they introduce more unique competitions before year end.
Our reporter Austin Karonga had a chat with NFZBBF secretary-general Quiet Shangai in view of the season opener, the Novice Championships, scheduled for the end of month at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare.
Below are excerpts of the interview.

Q: What is on offer this year?

A: We have a number of competitions lined up. Muscle and Fitness Gweru which was revived last year continues. Harare Classic is on and the provincial show returns after an eight-year hiatus.
Marume Classic, Zim Nationals, ZITF Open and Novice will take place as usual. We are likely to see the coming on board of a show simply called the Legends Classic.

Q: Great. Let’s look at Novice. What are the categories on offer?

A: Men’s Physique, Open bodybuilding (both juniors and seniors), Men’s Fitness, Women Bikini Fitness and Wheelchair Men Bodybuilding.

Q: What makes the 2020 edition different?

A: You will agree with me that our direction and vision should not ignore Novice.
We will always be in need of more capacitated judges, groomed athletes, informed potential partners, informed community and prepared fitness industry.
The moment we address the issues that help us to achieve the above, then we are ready to create more opportunities and having said that, Novice will have a model that gives an impetus to the achievement of these key issues.

Q: How are you going to achieve that model?

A: We are going to have an interactive competition to help athletes with regards to understanding of their physiques, likely mistakes, career opportunities, likely challenges and the antidotes thereof.
Athletes will be informed before, while and after competing on the day.
We have no choice but to prepare athletes because if we leave them without the understanding of the fitness industry terrain, we will have destroyed them.
Our biggest assignment in as far as development is concerned is to let athletes have a clear understanding of how the industry operates.
That way we will have created a sustainable industry.
We are going to recruit more judges. We need to recruit as many judges as are practicable so as to improve our pool in as far as competence and quantity are concerned.

Q: We understand that Novice is for beginners. Any coaches who have shown interest in this event?

A: Simon Gama has five athletes who are itching to step on stage and the ZRP gym has around 10.  I have not spoken to other coaches but Novice has always been Novice, that’s oversubscribed.

Q: What lessons have you learnt from the Novice shows that you have hosted before?

A: We have observed that many athletes who do Novice and don’t place don’t come back for the bigger shows, the reason being failure by the system to follow up on them and get positive feedback.

Q: What are you planning to do this time to enhance chances of athletes coming back on stage after doing Novice?

A: We are going to create a database after the event through our development desk.
We are going to develop guiding notes for these athletes so that they can be able to continue getting better, thereby competing.
What discourages an athlete from competing is a physique that may not be competitive enough according to the concerned athlete. We need to guide these athletes.

Q: What has Novice Zimbabwe produced so far?

A: Categories and athletes.

Q: What do you mean by categories?

A: Muscle modelling and men’s fitness were introduced in Zimbabwe at Novice 2012.
Munyaradzi Hakeem Mandaza and Craig Ushe won the two divisions respectively.
Today we are proud of pro athletes and Arnold Classic winners who are coming from these divisions. Furthermore, Men’s Fitness Model got its first shot at Novice 2019.

Q: What do you mean by athletes?

A: Athletes like Ryan Gumbo, Reginald Pasara, Nigel Maphosa, Blessing Nyapimbi, Alista Dimba, Gerald Woodend, Zumailer Eusen Mamman, Tarirai Chirume, Garikayi Mujuru, Edward Marondera, Nunurai Masosonere, Kylie Mcdonald, Shantel Greenland, Prechard Hoko to name just but a few are Novice products.

Q: Any support regarding the 2020 edition?

A: We have Divine Freight Services, Kingsport Investments, Karg Media Services, House of Muscle, Ryan T.G Fitness, Oracle Sport, Darigold Supplements, Diamond Pharmacy, Ark Holdings, Active Fitness Group, Crime Stoppers and Supplement Factory so far. We are still appealing for more sponsors to come on board.

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