Break-up and leadership mediocrity hurt bodybuilding


18-October-2011

Antat, Mekdachi and Camille flexing their muscles in the Mr Seychelles 2009 contest. Will we ever see them on stage together again?

Registered with the Seychelles Bodybuilding Association (SBBA) chaired by Marcel Ally, who took over from Roxy Athanase at the start of the year, Mekdachi, Gabriel and Henriette are almost sure of watching from the sidelines on the night of October 29 as the others flex their muscles on stage.

This is because they do not belong to the Seychelles Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (SBPF) which has the mandate to organise the Mr Seychelles contest. This year’s show will be at the Tequila Boom Night Club, starting at 10pm. Tickets for the show cost R75 with SBPF members and R100 at the door on the night of the contest. Nano Camille is the outgoing Mr Seychelles.

SBPF chairman Mohan Chetty told Sports Nation yesterday that “only SBPF-registered bodybuilders can take part in the annual Mr Seychelles contest.”

“No bodybuilders from any other body can take part in competitions organised by the WBPF.
This is also true for our bodybuilders who cannot take part in contests sanctioned by another body,” added Mr Chetty who was present at Saturday’s Lovenut Classic contest won by Mekdachi and also sponsored two prizes.

“I did it because I love bodybuilding and want to see it grow,” said Mr Chetty who was the last Seychelles Amateur Bodybuilding Association (Sabba) head before the break-up into SBBA and SBPF in early 2010.

The SBBA is affiliated to the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB), while the SBPF is a member of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation – a break-away organisation from the IFBB.

Speaking to the media after racking up his first win this year, Mekdachi, who, as a result of the break-up in 2010, could not defend his Mr Seychelles title won in 2009, made a strong appeal to the National Sports Council (NSC) to take over the hosting of the Mr Seychelles contest to give every local bodybuilder the opportunity to compete.

“The NSC should come in to remedy the situation by organising the contest. This way, all local bodybuilders will be able to take part and we will know the real Mr Seychelles,” said Mekdachi.

Speaking to Sports Nation, NSC’s director for sports management and development Robert Auguste said: “The NSC has no mandate to organise competitions at competitive level because it is not a member of and is not recognised by any international sports federation.”

He added that after the NSC recognised the SBPF and gave the body headed by Mr Chetty a budget, it also gave them the mandate to hold meetings with the SBBA this year to try to solve the conflict and come up with just one bodybuilding body.

“The SBPF hasn’t honoured this agreement and I can confirm that because it has not organised enough competitions, it will not receive a budget from the NSC next year and none of its bodybuilders will qualify for the Sports Awards of the Year crowning ceremony,” added Mr Auguste.

The break-up and mediocrity in bodybuilding leadership have hurt the sport of bodybuilding in Seychelles which had reached an unprecedented high level in 2009 with flex posers like Mekdachi, Camille, Gabriel, Fabien Antat, and Henriette, who defected from the SBPF late last year, bringing their best physiques on to the stage.

Even trainer of champions and former Mr Seychelles Regis Delorié agrees that the break-up hasn’t done any good to the sport.

“It’s a shame! The break-up has halted the progress of bodybuilding here,” said Delorié, who owns the Animal Kingdom Gym.

G. G.

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