In fact, president of the Barbados Amateur Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (BABFF) Alfred Sparman has described the development of the sport as the dawn of a new era.
Sparman recently addressed members of the media to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the bodybuilding and fitness athletes who attended the just concluded CAC Championships in Mexico.
“We have had some obstacles in the past but we have come to the dawn of a new era. I think what has made a big difference this year is because the athletes saw their dreams closer to them. Next year we are going to Puerto Rico but whether it is Puerto Rico, Mexico or Jericho, they [opposition] will be going down in a second-round TKO,” Sparman stated confidently.
Good is an understatement, it was a stunning performance by Team Barbados made up of 12 members who captured seven first-place trophies, earned three pro cards and finished second overall out of 38 countries.
The gold medallists were: Vanessa Jones, Shakira Doughlin, Andrea Cumberbatch, Tyrell Forde, Ramona Morgan, Nicholas Smith and Asha Chase.
“Given the history of bodybuilding over the years Barbados was always one of the better countries in bodybuilding. That has declined over the years. (This) is probably the best a CAC team has ever done under the bodybuilding banner. The sport is rising again,” said national coach Gareth Norris.
During the press conference held at the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, Norris also expressed how pleased he was with the team’s performance and dedication in “bringing home the bacon”.
“What I can say is that I am extremely proud of this team. I have been around the sport for many years and I have been able to travel to some of the other CAC competitions and I would say that the athletes that came to this competition were focused and knew what they were about and did everything necessary to achieve their medals. The team was very together, no separation or bickering or issues. I think the tour in itself was very successful. I want to say I’m very proud of the athletes,” Norris said.
Commenting on the recent success of national athletes at overseas competitions, Sports Minister John King addressed the need for proper facilities to ensure the best results from Barbadian athletes.
King revealed it was all part of a vision to transform sports in Barbados.
“We are on a fact-finding mission right now. We have heard a lot of complaints over the years. We are also in conversation with other entities to find ways to see how we can rectify that problem which is the lack of facilities.
“There are a number of ways this can be done, we can look for buildings that can be used and get them moving or we can build things from scratch but that will take lots of money, grants and goodwill. We have to find ways of using some of the buildings that we have and retrofit them to help out these sports,” King said.