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Strongman returns

by Barbados Today
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The very best of power and strength will be on show at the 2022 Barbados Kure Strongfest competition put on by the Barbados Powerlifting and Strength Association (BPSA).

During a press conference held this morning at the National Union of Public Workers in Dalkeith Road, St. Michael, President of the BPSA, Manasseh King, said a total of 33 competitors have so far registered for the September 3 and 4 event at the St. George Secondary School.

With the registration deadline being Tuesday, July 5, King explained that 22 of those registered are from overseas including the reigning 2019 Strongman Barbados winner Julio Sinclair of Guyana. Also making an appearance are lifters from Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

“I am very satisfied because this is the most competitors we have had so far in this project. We used to have about 16 or so but by opening it into the region that is why we have these numbers. I am hoping that next year we will have a CARICOM Strongman competition,” King told the media.

The first position will receive BDS$2, 000, the second-place BDS$1, 000 and the third BDS$500. In addition, King announced an additional BDS$3, 500 available for the other disciplines such as the sleigh push and pull as well as the tug-o-war team competition. Those who wish to attend can do so at an entrance fee of BDS$50.

King expressed his elation at having the return of the two-day powerlifting event which is split into two categories – National Powerlifting and Invitational crowns. It is understood that only Barbadians can compete for the national trophy while all other competitors are free to participate in the Invitational.

President King noted that the Kure Powerlifting championships will be used to select a team that will represent Barbados in future competitions.

President of the Barbados Powerlifting and Strenght Association Mannasseh King (third left) was joined by the sponsors of Kure Oxygen, Ensure Max Protein and Zephirin’s Bakeries to launch the 2022 Kure Strongfest. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay).

For the first time, there will be a youth Strongfest showdown that comprises five male and female competitors from the St. George Secondary School. Teacher at the school, Simone Kirton, said during her remarks that based on how this year’s event unfolds they will decide on whether to get more schools involved.

“The idea is ultimately to have the powerlifting association help us with being able to outfit our gym but in the meantime, it will be mutually beneficial because then they would benefit and would have somewhere to host the competition. Obviously, we would benefit because we would have improvements to our facility and grounds,” Kirton stated.

The youths that are involved will not be powerlifting but rather do the reverse kettlebell throw, farmers carry, the sleigh push, tyre flip and sandbag carry.

The sponsors were well represented and the Sales and Marketing Manager of SMJ Beverages, Shakeena Manning spoke about the rich history of the company which has been in existence for 92 years and products sold in several markets.

With the launch of Kure Oxygen in February of this year and which is the latest addition to the SMJ family, Manning explained that this is now the brand they have paid special attention to in order to penetrate the Barbados market. She said it was a pleasure to partner with Strongfest and to align with brand ambassadors.

“Our marketing goals for this year would be to partner with initiatives such as  Strongfest and individuals like Ramon Dodson (entrepreneur, former bodybuilder and public relations officer for BPSA) to ensure that we get the market to convert from drinking those carbonated beverages which are high in sugar to drinking something more beneficial to the body in alignment with government’s initiatives to reduce obesity in Barbados,” Manning told those in attendance.

Spokesperson for Pharmacy Sales, Greggory Ruck, whose product Ensure Max Protein Plus will be associated with Strongfest said it was a pleasure for the brand he represents to be part of the event. Ruck pointed out that they have been seeking to partner with Strongfest since 2019 and were happy to do so now.

“We are the newcomers to the arena but we hope that we are able to support with a strong arm. We are supporting Ensure Max Protein and we are happy to produce 30g of protein with only one gram of sugar per bottle. Bringing you superior high-quality protein to support the athletes in their growth and nutrition.

“Much like Kure, we are happy to support these healthy initiatives along with the Government to, wherever possible, reduce sugar and increase nutrition, the vitamins and minerals our body needs daily to survive and grow and maintain a healthy weight,” he explained.

Sales and marketing manager for Zephirin’s Bakeries, Shanise Foster, reminded those present that the company has supported the event now in its fourth year and looks forward to continuing its great partnership with the BPSA.

morissalindsay@barbadostoday.bb

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