Goredema championed female bodybuilding

HARARE - Otis Goredema feels he could have scaled higher heights in bodybuilding if he had not succumbed to a career-ending shoulder injury.

The injury occurred at a time when Goredema was at the pick of his career and had just agreed a foreign endorsement that would have seen him gain international status.

“My first training partner was Innocent Choga who taught me a lot as he already had several titles under his belt,” recalls Goredema.

“I competed a few times and won third place plus Best Poser in Bulawayo in 2000 with my new training partner Givemore Marume taking Mr Zimbabwe for the first time.

“I later got runner up Middle weight Mr. Zimbabwe in 2005, coming second to Chenai Mabwere and beating Zumailer Eusen Maman who came third that year.

“I remember that year because I also beat “Sugar” (Isaac Chimuchenga-current Mr Ironman) who came fourth and Victor Hungwe came 6th in that line up.

“While on stage that year, Chenai and I were selected by a UK based sports scouting agent who came to watch the show and who began to sponsor us to compete in other countries.”

Goredema, however, never got that chance to take his game to an international level after sustain that shoulder injury.

“During my preparations, I had a severe shoulder injury which despite three surgeons trying to repair it, it did not heal and it forced me into early retirement,” he says.

“That was the last year I competed and I decided to focus my attention on training aspiring female athletes.”

Goredema’s passion for training female athletes yielded fruits as a number of his students went on win the Ms Zimbabwe title on several occasions.

These include Hilde Westwood, Pearl Thompson and Claudia Muvuti among others.

Merna Moore Cremer, former Ms World Fitness Bikini second runner-up and still competing on the domestic scene is also under Goredema’s Dark Cloud stable.

Besides the three women that participated in the bodybuilding contest, Goredema also trained former Miss Zimbabwe winners, Brita Masalethulini, Malaika Mashandu and the recently dethroned Thabiso Phiri.

He also trained fashion designer Joyce Chimanye and currently devotes his time as a personal trainer for mostly top executives and VIPs who cannot train in public gyms at his Country Club base in Newlands.

The former bodybuilder says his passion for the sport started when he was still a teenager in high school.

“In terms of bodybuilding, my interest in the sport began in high school when I started a weights club at St John's College,” Goredema says.

“I began watching shows and was inspired when I met Patrick Nichols and Robby Robinson when they came to Zimbabwe as guest posers in 1992.

“I began competing in 1999 after spending 2 years in South Africa working with former World Strongest Man, Mark Robinson.”

Goredema also superintended over the return of the Mr and Ms Zimbabwe bodybuilding contest after a five-year hiatus last year while he was the interim president of the local bodybuilding federation.

He remains humbled towards his role in having many female athletes taking up the sport at a time it was male-dominated.

“My best memories in administration include my introduction of top quality female athletes to the sport,” he said.

“Previously we would have one or two ladies but during my tenure, I brought in as many as 20 female athletes, many of them who were not ready to compete in 2013 are competing in 2014 so the new administration will continue to benefit from having female athletes participating for a long time to come due to the solid ground we laid.”

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