Jamaica Amateur Body Building and Fitness Association (JABBFA) official Matthew Smith-Barrett has said that this year’s National Championships and Fitness Expo, set for the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology on Friday and Saturday, will be expanded to include more activities than it did last year.
The two-day event will see 160 competitors, both male, and female, from fitness centers all across the island competing in 15 categories.
Smith-Barrett, a former bodybuilder himself, said that last year’s staging, which he described as “successful”, motivated JABBFA to build on the structure of the expo.
“This year, we’re expanding the fitness expo a little bit more to bring in other aspects as well,” he said. “Last year, we introduced wellness – health wellness and financial wellness. This year, we’re trying to incorporate more aspects. We’re trying to show persons how to diet, how to cook the food that they require to nourish their bodies going forward.”
Smith-Barrett said that JABBFA will also be streamlining this year’s activities to prevent the audience from leaving before the end of proceedings.
“One of the main complaints or drawbacks we had last year was the length of the activity itself. This year, we’re trying to cut down on the duration that we actually spend in the auditorium. We’re trying to incorporate other aspects of lifestyle, health, and fitness; we’re trying to ensure that our audience gets a greater hands-on approach; we’re trying to expand to allow other associations to see what we have to offer.”
This year’s staging will see other sporting associations included in the expo, such as the Mixed Martial Arts Jamaica Sports Federation (MMAJSF), who put on a sparring exhibition at Thursday’s event launch.
“Our association is the start. We are a cog in everybody’s wheel and, as such, they need to embrace us and we’ll be embracing them,” Smith-Barrett said.
MMAJSF president Daniel Chacko-Wilmot said that he is appreciative of the invitation by the JABBFA and that it was a “good initiative” to invite young federations and associations to be a part of the activities.
“We’re very honored to be included,” he said. “It’s a good move by the JABBFA to encourage other associations like ourselves. I’d like to see similar expos, where the bigger organizations can help other small organizations to become better known to the public.”