Funding remains critical for bodybuilding

HARARE - Bodybuilding grew in leaps and bounds in 2013, heralding arguably its best achievements in the history of the sport but lack of funding remains elusive.

Former Zimbabwe Musclemania Victor Hungwe made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean to win a world contest. The “Beast” came first in the Under-90kg category at the World Championships held in Naples, Italy, early this year.

Reigning Musclemania Champion Chienderamwano completed a double, claiming the Musclemania in June before winding up his fruitful campaign by winning the Mr Zimbabwe title on its return after five years in last month. The Botswana-based bodybuilder also finished fourth at the Mr Botswana invitational won by countryman Isaac ‘Sugar’ Chimuchenga.

Chimuchenga had also retained his light weight division title at the Mr Zimbabwe contest, having last won the light weight division in 2008 before the country’s premier bodybuilding contest took a five-year sabbatical.

Simbarashe Fero, another Zimbabwean, came third at the Mr Botswana contest last month.

National Federation of Zimbabwe Body Building and Fitness (NFZBBF) interim president Otis Goredema said despite going through financial hardships, the sport blossomed in 2013.

“2013 has been a wonderful year for the sport. The interim executive managed to achieve its main objective which was to re-launch the national bodybuilding shows,” Goredema told the Daily News yesterday.

“For the coming year we expect to continue building on that foundation and work towards the growth of the sport and consolidating the few gains we have had so far.  Funding remains an issue but we hope to build on the new relationships we established this year and we expect 2014 to have bigger and better shows and athletes.”

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