NABBA NI 2016 Announcement
Confirmation that the NABBA Northern Ireland Championships will take place in the Prestigious Ulster Hall on the 23rd of April 2016. Competitors please click here for details of entry. Spectators ticket information will be released shortly.
2015 Show Report
Sat April 25th was to see the Ulster Hall come to life with the cheers and applause of family, friends and supporters as they showed their support for the 76 Athletes that had turned out to compete in NABBA NI Bodybuilding Championships. This year would see previous overall champions return to form and the rise of our next generation and what a show it was going to be.
The Junior category set the scene for the whole show as the top 3 places were hotly contested with Robert Celigowski, Christopher Callaghan, Jordan Waring and Brendan McShane all fighting for a top spot. At first glace after stepping out on stage Brendan McShane shone. But as the Athletes began their comparisons it was the slighter built but better conditioned Jordan Waring that came to light. The title could have went either way but it was to be Jordan’s night. Robert Celigowski was a solid 3rd but just lacked the overall muscle to threaten the top 2. Both Brendan and Jordan also received an invite to the Britains.
The First Timers category introduced us to some fantastic physiques and with that another close decision for the top 3. Andrew Dawson, Paul White and Adrian McCullagh our top 3 all displayed physiques that wouldn’t have looked out of place standing in a seasoned Misters lineup. With all 3 shining through the comparison round it was hard to pick them apart. Even through their individual routines they all displayed their physiques with confidence. This was going to give the judges a headache as they attempted to place the these 3. When the final placings were announced it could have easily went any of 3 ways and I don’t think anyone would have argued. Andrew Dawson took 3rd place, Adrian McCullagh walked away with second and Paul White stole First. Such was their standard all 3 received invites to the Britains. There was a lot of great physiques in this class but honorable mentions got to 4th place finisher Alan Noble and Adrian Olzsewski in 5th. 2 physiques that surely would have placed higher any other day.
The Over 40’s had 5 athletes and proved to be highly competitive with last years champion, Brian Edge back to fight for his title. He wasn’t going to get an easy time of it as both Jimmy Connolly and Alan Noble had stepped up their game from their last outtings and eager to get their hands on first place. But it was plane to see when he had first stepped out onstage as they had upped their game so had Brian and he yet again lifted this years title, he always seems to do just enough to stay ahead of the pack. With the improvements that both Alan and Jimmy have made year on year though could it be their year next year, time will tell. Both Brian and Jim have received invites to the Britains.
Our Over 50’s had only one Athlete today, Mr Charisma himself, James Henderson. Displaying a great physique that belies his age and big cheesy grin, James was a crowd favorite. He also received an invite to the Bitains.
Toned Figure was one of the most competitive classes of the day with 24 ladies ready to strut it out. Again this was another class that proved hard to judge such was the calibre of the physiques onstage. The Top 6 proved to be extremely competitive with Nicole Toan, Michelle Moult, Hayley Friel, Christina Duddy, Louise Jex and Gemma Toner all proving they had done their homework, making it difficult to separate them. With the points all tallied up the top 3 placings were extremely close. Gemma Toner took first place here by the skin of her teeth, Hot on her heels in Second place was Christina Duddy and Third place Nicole Toan. All 3 also earning invites to the Britains. Also in a very close 4th, 5th and 6th placings was Louise Jex, Michelle Moult and Hayley Friel.
As the Athletic Figure category gains in popularity so does the level of competiton with 6 athletes turning out today to display their hardwork. A fabulous El Fagan was the winner today but it wasn’t all her way as 2nd place winner Sharon Clarke and 3rd place winner Aiste O’Flanagan proved very worthy opponents. The top 3 displayed excellent physiques with polished routines and excellent stage presence, but it was to be El’s night with her just nudging ahead of second and third place with a more complete package. Both El and Sharon got invites to the Britains.
This year brought another excellent Novice Class, and yet again it was another tight call between 1st, 2nd and 3rd. We had Kieth ”Bear” Gamble trying to replicate his Team member Frankie McAleavey’s win of last year. We also had the excellent Will Johnston and the ready to rumble Richard”Ricardo”Keilczewski. Just outside of the top 3 were Steven Morrow and Sean Surgeoner who had their own fight for 4th and 5th place. The top 3 all fought hard through the comparisons with each displaying strengths in various poses. It was plane to see that Will Johnston had came out of the prejudging slightly a head of the other 2, leaving them to battle it out for 2nd and 3rd. But all 3 still fought hard right up to the last seconds of the pose down, still unsure of their final placings, putting on a great show for the crowd. It was Will Johnston snatching first place after a strong comparison round, 2nd was Kieth”Bear”Gamble and 3rd Richard”Ricardo”Keilczewski. Sean Surgeoner took 4th ,Steven Morrow landed in 5th and Stephen Betts took the 6th spot. Will and Kieth earned invites to the Britains for their hard work and excellent showing.
The Trained Figure Ladies turned out for a great fight with 7 girls in the class. It was a great class with every girl giving it their all in the comparisons and it seemed they had all brought a significant fan club with them as the crowd went electric as each hit their poses. Top 4 proved very tight to call, with newbie Margie Connolly putting a spanner in the works for the more established athletes here. A lack of experience onstage amongst more experienced athletes let her down slightly but an excellent first showing. Margie landed in 4th place. The always ready for action Julie Periera nailed a solid 3rd place with many of the crowd thinking she deserved higher. It was very close between 2nd and 1st but just nudged into second was Mechelle Ihnat, a super physique by all accounts a little tighter conditioning and this girl could do damage at the Britain’s. First place went to great Gillian Bradley, this has been hand downs Gillian’s best showing to date, from physique, stage presence and presentation she’d undergone a complete overhaul and it showed. Lifting the title had been a longtime coming for her but her persistence, hard work and dedication has paid off, well done!
Mechelle and Gillian both received invites to the Britain’s.
Mens class 4 was another category light on contestants this year, maybe its because they all heard that the mighty Paul Stewart was returning to the stage. And mighty he was, one of the best physiques ever out of Northern Ireland and a previous overall champion Paul didn’t turn up to go home empty handed. Just incase he brought arguable his best ever package. An outstanding showing from the quiet man. And an obvious shout for the overall as he walked off stage.
Unfortunately no showing for the Class 3 this year.
Men’s Class 2 was pipped as being a great showdown as last years First timers winner and Britain First timers winner Frankie McAleavey and previous overall Champion John Martini were to lock horns, but put in the mix was the excellent Peter Bremner. Unfortunately the showdown for John wasn’t to be has he missed his timing with his water and stepped out onstage slightly off his best. Leaving the door open for Peter and Frankie, but Frankie proved to much for Peter, he had out muscled and out conditioned him. Peter is I no doubt fast becoming one of best bodybuilders but this year wasn’t to be as Frankie spurred on with last years success had turned up even better, waistline substantially improved, back visibly improved and much better stage presence he had nailed it. Class 2 Champion!
It was going be some showdown for the overall.
Class 1 although having 3 athletes one was showing out of area in an effort to qualify for the World Championship. This was Irelands Rory Collins, another great athlete that continues to improve, show on show. With slightly better conditioning than today he’ll do well at the Worlds having qualified. Good luck Rory. This left 2 athletes to duke it out for the Class 1 title, Barney McGonagle and Michal Ihnat. Michal displayed a great balanced physique and got great reception from the crowd, a little more muscle and slightly better conditioning and he could win this title some day, just not today. Barney just proved to much for Michal this time, knocking him into second place. Barney has much improved this past year, presenting his best package to date, how he keeps nailing condition every showing shows testament to his hard work ethic, be interesting to see what he brings next year.
After a short break the 3 class winners were asked back out on stage to fight for the overall title, comparisons were called and it was plain to see it would come down between Class 4 winner Paul Stewart and Class 2 winner Frankie McAleavy. The front poses were very hard to call as both looked incredible. Turning to the back Paul sealed the deal, displaying more detail and separation. Although much improved through his back than last year Frankie will have to wait another year for the overall title, but no doubt its only a waiting game for him. With youth on his side I expect big things from him in the near future. But the night and this years title belong to Paul Stewart, by a mile the best I’ve seen him. Congratulations Mr Northern Ireland 2015!!