Monday, May 14, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
For the second consecutive year, Charles Reckley has emerged as the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation’s national bodybuilding champion.
Reckley, competing in the men’s welterweight division, won the title on Saturday night at the Melia resort where the federation hosted a joint 2018 National Novice and Open Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
Among the other winners were Lyndsey Curry as the women’s open figure champion, Raynor ‘The Black Viking’ Ferguson, the men’s open physique champion, Athena Bain, the women’s wellness champion, Tashara Seymour, the women’s open bikini champion and Japhier ‘Jackie’ Gardiner, the novice bikini champion.
Moving up from the lightweight division, Reckley outperformed Reginald Delancy, Mario Sweeting and Giovanni Farrington to clinch the welterweight title. In the pose down, he won over lightweight champion Paul ‘Mighty Mouse’ Wilson and masters’ heavyweight champion 73-year-old Sydney ‘Butts’ Outten.
“It feels great. Last year, I was in the lighter weight class, but this year I moved up,” he said. “Tonight, I feel really great because I was fighting against three great guys and I came out with the award again.”
When the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships takes place in Aruba in August, the 31-year-old Reckley said it’s his goal to go there and become the latest Bahamian to earn his pro card.
“It’s time to move on, so I’m going to push towards that,” he insisted. “The competition here was great. The guys came after me, but I wasn’t stopping. I fought it out and it paid off.”
Curry, winner of the D class over Roberta Wheeler and the overall pose down winner over Tanya Forbes, the B class winner, said it was a well-deserved victory.
“It’s been long road just to get here, so I had to do the best that I could,” Curry said. “This is not my first year, so to be right here holding the trophy is just special for me. I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.”
Curry said she will be looking forward to competing in the CAC Championships and making her presence felt there.
Ferguson, the overall men’s fitness champion, said it was an amazing experience.
“It just really shows that hard work and commitment really pays off,” he insisted. “It was really tough. I went against some really tough competitors, some ex champions, so I was just humbled. I feel really liberated. It was just a great experience. I ill be back next year to defend the title.”
As the tallest competitor in the competition at 6-feet, 1-inch, Seymour strutted to victory in the open women’s bikini class.
“I felt excited about it. It’s something that I’ve been working on for the past few months,” she said. “This morning (Saturday) during the pre-judging, I just gave it my all and I did the same thing tonight, so I’m very proud of my performance.”
Seymour said she felt the adrenaline rush once she stepped out on stage and saw her family and friends cheering for her.
“It was good to have that support because I was a bit nervous at first,” she recalled. “But I was excited overall. I hope to be back next year.”
Gardiner said she wasn’t going to let the first time jitters get to her.
“I just went out there to do my best,” she stated. “It was a lot of fun competing. The overall competition was great. It was a great experience.”
In winning her title, Bain said she was delighted that her hard work has finally come to fruition.
“It was an enjoyable experience. This was my first time so I had a lot of fun,” she stressed. “It was a lot of waiting to go on stage, but you could feel the energy from the people in the back stage. Everyone was very encouraging and they wanted to see you do well. So that helped to get me ready.”