The numbers game caught up with Revitalise Natural Health & Fitness Centre at the NABBA Manawatu/Wanganui Championships on Saturday night. Three clients from Revitalise represented the entirety of the local contingent from the 16 entrants, from which two entered both individually and as a mixed pair to add another category. The prestigious Top Gym prize went to Human Movement Fitness Centre from Palmerston North, who brought over five competitors – the same number which Revitalises entered in 2018 when they finally won the title after six years of trying. “Not happy, not happy. Oh well, next year,” said trainer Audrey O’Keefe.
There had been 30-40 competitors at the previous two years of regionals. However, this was partly because the numbers were swelled with more Taranaki entrants. This year, NABBA Taranaki is holding their own championships on May 4. Three people still came down, including Farah Deobhakta, who had just been named NABBA New Zealand’s Top Trainer for 2018, once the final points were tallied, with Auckland’s Marcus Hoeflich runnerup and O’Keefe, the 2017 winner, finishing third.
Competing at War Memorial Centre, Revitalise’s Michaela Sullenberger went against four other competitors across the three shape divisions, claiming her Open Shape title. However, Sullenberger had to concede her Overall Ms. Shape crown to Manawatu’s Rebekkah Murdie. In her first competition, Taihape’s Leanne Bird out-pointed Taranaki’s Maria Dunlop in the Shape 30+ division, but like Sullenberger was seen off by Murdie for the overall crown. In Taihape’s Fiona Blyth, their fellow club member maintained her Open Physique Women Short title, but in direct competition, missed out on the Overall Ms. Physique crown to Palmerston North’s Laurie Wells.