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Time to lift standard!

Mike King

Time to lift standard!

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The?Tiger Malt Schoolboy Bodybuilding and Miss Body Fitness Championships have crossed a new and exciting frontier.
It is no longer just about muscle.
It is an entertainment package and a family affair.
For now that the tiny tots from as young as age six have been given full range to express themselves on stage, dads and mums look forward with earnest to the championships to show their full support for their offspring.
These championships are a success and are continuing to grow, with this year’s edition attracting 118 entrants.
One concern is that the championships stretched for nearly six hours and finished just after 10 p.m. and the organizers, National Sports Council (NSC), will have to look at streamlining the event.
Interest is very high, especially in the bodybuilding for tiny tots and the figure competition for senior girls (16-21), but the NSC?must know that 11 categories are way too many and the championships should not finish as late as it did this year and in recent times.
NSC?coach Valance Humphrey, the 1984 Teenager winner, would have been happy with the turnout, but though the numbers were high and the screams from the audience loud, the quality particuarly of the Mr Schoolboy, needs to be improved.
Shaquille Lavine, the muscular 18-year-old from Vauxhall, Christ Church, was the class of the 10-man field and Zico Best was a solid second, but there was little else to write home about and Humphrey must know there is much work to be done.
Humphrey, though, can’t do it all alone and the question that has to be asked is why does the NSC?have just one coach in a sport that holds such an impressive record of achievement for Barbados.
Lavine, who rocked the stage with 158 pounds of muscle, has been under the guidance of former world class amateur Darcy Beckles.
“Darcy Beckles has helped me a lot. He brought me out and Mr Humphrey has continued the good work.
“Next season will be important for me. I know there is plenty of room for improvment and I will be looking to be better for Mr Teenager and Mr Bridgetown contests,” he added.