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Manawatu/Wanganui Championships to Take Place at Royal Opera House

Manawatu/Wanganui Championships to Take Place at Royal Opera House

The Manawatu/Wanganui Championships will be held at the Royal Opera House on May 11, reports New Zealand Herald.

Nabba New Zealand trainer Audrey O’Keefe, who was named trainer of the year, hopes to witness her Revitalise Gym team claim a Top Gym title.

O’Keefe’s team just missed out on winning the prestigious award last year, when City Fitness from Palmerston North took the title.

Recently, bodybuilding in the region has grown. Since Palmerston North has been awarded the hosting rights for this year’s NZ Nationals, the sport has become the NABBA organization’s stronghold.

The decision to host the Manawatu/Wanganui Championships at the Royal Opera House was based on the hope of attracting sponsors between the neighboring towns.

“It’s excellent, it’s good to see so many new people hopping into the sport, that’s fantastic,” said O’Keefe.

While this year only 30 competitors are set to participate, O’Keefe remains excited because they are mostly new names, suggesting the next generation of bodybuilders is beginning to move in.

Revitalise Gym is expected to provide most of the local competitors.

Last year, Michaela Sullenberger placed third in the Novice Shape division, despite having recently given birth.

O’Keefe notes what a huge accomplishment Sullenberger’s triumph was, given Shape is usually one of the hardest divisions due to its size.

Included in O’Keefe’s new team will be her son Kyle, who has been training for the last two months, Carl Bond, who is recognized in Wanganui City football circles, and Fiona Blythe of Taihape.

Expats planning to return for the competition will be Auckland’s Sasha Bell, nee Crafar, and Joel Asher of Wellington, who plans to participate in the boardshorts grade.

Since this is only the fourth Nabba event of the year, O’Keefe noted that some of her regulars are still preparing to bulk up to get ready for events later in the season.

Despite the decrease competitors, O’Keefe promises a good show no matter what.

“We’ve got three really awesome competitors that have been competing overseas,” O’Keefe said.

Revitalise and the Human Movements Fitness Centre in Palmerston North have been providing posing practices for three months.

The judging rounds for the competition will begin tomorrow night at the Opera House, beginning at 12 PM with a charge of $15 for entry.

The evening show, which is where the prizes will be given out, will take place that night at 5 PM. Tickets for the evening show cost $25.

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