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The Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) held its election of officers last week, and Danny Sumner was returned as president of the esteemed body.
Back for a third consecutive four-year term, Sumner said that he feels it is his duty to incorporate new strategies and ideas into the federation's program for the next four years, and he has every intention of doing so. Sumner also serves as Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation Vice President, and is still in charge of the sport in the Antilles region.
Serving in this term with him will be vice president Dr. Cyprian Strachan who replaces Derek Bullard and secretary general Lillian Moncur. Bullard will be new executive director, Oreantheia Mackey is the assistant secretary, Simone Sawyer will be the chairman of the Judges Committee, the new chairman of the Technical Committee is Jeremy Knowles, Sharon Sawyer was elected as the chairman of the Ladies Committee, the new chairman of Research and Development is Chevy Roker, the legal counsel is Donna Major, Dr. Strachan will be in charge of the Doping and Medical Committee, the two advisors are Chrishanda Newbold from Freeport, Grand Bahama, and Donna Williams from New Providence, and Dr. Richard Demeritte and Dr. Norman Gay are the two patrons of the federation.
"Well, I'm happy to be back and I'm looking forward to the task at hand," said Sumner. "There are some more things that I want to accomplish such as the high school championships, and also an armed forces segment of the nationals. The new executives are all committed to working hard, and I want to congratulate and welcome all of them into the federation. I'm happy with this team that was elected. Each one is responsible for a strategic position where they could assist in better grooming the federation. It should be a grand year, and I'm looking forward to great results moving forward."
Sumner said that they are all in high spirits, and have all pledged to work hard to ensure that the federation has continued growth.
Up first for the federation will be a fun run/walk set for Saturday March 29. The novice championships are set for May, the Northern Bahamas Championships will be held in June, and the nationals will once again be held in July.
"We have already started to embark on a number of objectives," said Sumner. "When you look at the fun run/walk, we want to encourage Bahamians from all walks of life to get involved with this. There is a strong focus on healthier living and family life for Bahamians this year. Also, one of our major concerns is getting more young people and more women attracted to the sport. There has been a decline in female bodybuilding, not just locally but worldwide because of the swimsuit factor. Females are starting to get involved with the swimsuit competition. That is more attractive to them."
In addition to swimsuit, the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) also introduced male physique in 2013. Also, there are categories such as male fitness, now male fitness, body fitness, figure fitness and classic bodybuilding that are becoming more and more popular.
"The IFBB has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. Back then it was just male and female bodybuilding but now there are so many aspects of the sport to get involved with," said Sumner. "We want to grow with the IFBB. It is our intention to tap strongly into the high school program. It will be good if we could get it into the school curriculum. What we noticed is that a lot of schools don't have training equipment, and that's vital for the program. I think that all of the schools, public and private, should have a mini gym with weight machines and cardio machines. That will go a long way in assisting us in getting the program started in the schools."
Sumner said that major goal of his this term, is to facilitate the involvement of Bahamian high schools in the sport of bodybuilding and fitness.
During his 10 years in office, Sumner was instrumental in having the BBFF National Championships moved to the hotels from old venues such as the Garfunkel Auditorium and the Poinciana Arena. Also, the federation joined the CAC regional body under his reign, and The Bahamas won seven CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness titles in the past 10 years. Also, five athletes earned their pro cards under Sumner's reign - bodybuilders Joel Stubbs, Gena Mackey and Jay Darling, Natasha Brown in fitness, and most recently Dominique Wilkinson in fitness.
This year, the CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships are set for October 2-4, in St. Maarten. Sumner said that they are looking to possibly host the CAC Championships in 2015.