Body builders come south

The toned, taut and tanned will be on display in Queenstown this Saturday during the resort's first International Natural Bodybuilders Association (Inba) Southern Lakes Classic bodybuilding competition, and there is a possibility an ''exceptional'' entrant will be invited to the Natural Olympia contest in San Diego in November.

South Pacific Bodybuilding Association New Zealand president and Southern Lakes Classic organiser Peter Hardwick, of Auckland, said the association had run the North Island Classic in Taupo for the past 23 years but had ''always wanted to run one in Queenstown for the South Island''.

"Basically, it was the logistics [preventing it previously].

"We operate from Auckland, but I spend a bit of time in Queenstown ... I looked for a venue and booked it, so here we go.''

Registrations were still being received for the inaugural event and while it was ''not going to be a huge show'', entrants would be coming from all over New Zealand.

"That's one of the things about Queenstown - everybody likes to go [there]. It's a good excuse for people from the North Island to come down, do the show and spend a day looking around and enjoying themselves.

"We want to see if we can build up the same tradition [in Queenstown as there is in Taupo].

"When we do something for the first time people are a little bit cautious, but I think it's going to be a good one."

Bodybuilders could enter in several categories, including the female figure section, which was ''more feminine''.

They wear high heels and are a bit more glamorous, but still have to show muscularity.

"The female bodybuilding and male bodybuilding sections were ''a bit more hard-core'', Mr Hardwick said.

Five judges would score the competitors on a variety of elements, including the ''total package'', and a symmetrical physique.

Competitors would first come out in groups and be put through a series of poses for judges to compare their physiques from ''all angles''.

Entrants would then take the stage individually to perform a prepared routine, which was primarily for the audience, he said.

Additionally, Janine Haywood, of Auckland, the Inba 2012 South Pacific Figure Champion, would attend as a ''guest poser''.

A New Zealand team would be attending the Natural Olympia contest in San Diego, described as one of the biggest drug-free competitions in the world.

If an ''exceptional'' bodybuilder was unearthed during the Queenstown event, ''we'll certainly invite them''.

• The Inba Southern Lakes Classic will be held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre from 2pm on Saturday, with a $25 entry fee per person.

• Alpine Health and Fitness group instructor Cassie Chow (26) won the National Amateur Body Building Association (Nabba) Wellington Championships Open Figure - Short category on Saturday.

She will be hoping to repeat her success in front of a home crowd on Saturday.

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