On March 16th, 2013, a grand function was unveiled in the coastal district of Karnataka, Udupi. It was the 61st National Level Bodybuilding Championship conducted by Indian Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation supported by Manjunath Hegde Sports Foundation hosted in Shamili Convention Centre situated on the National Highway in Udupi. The prelims for the competition were conducted on 15th of March itself. On 16th, the stage was set to witness the best bodybuilders from all across the country.
The real competition commenced at around 11 am in the morning. Even Doordarshan's DD sports was present to cover the entire event for the television medium along with the press media. Initially the first title to be contested was for 'Bharath Kesari' where in bodybuilders above the age of 40 contested. There were bodybuilders from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Jharkhand, Chatthisgarh and other places who competed in this event. It was shocking to see people above the age of 50 who had maintained hardcore physique. Then it was the turn of 'Bharath Uday' title to be contested for. Different groups were made based on the height of the bodybuilders as short, medium, tall and super-tall groups. So minimum of 4 groups existed for each title contest. Among each of these groups 5 places were given from 1st to 5th and the gold-medal winner i.e, the first place winner would be selected for the final round. Like this, four 1st place winners among the four groups were selected and made to contest in the second round. Out of these four, finally one winner was selected and awarded the title. 'Bharath Uday' title is contested by freshers who enter the bodybuilding competition for the first time. (I don't remember the exact names and places of the bodybuilders who won these competitions, so kindly pardon me for the same).
The next title to be contest for was 'Bharath Kishore' which is once again for younger bodybuilders. People of the age 20-25 participated in Bharath Uday and Bharath Kishore titles competition and it was surprising to see the muscles that these young chaps had developed. I could really see the years of hardwork and perseverance that had gone behind such sculpture out of natural muscles. By this time, entered the chief guests for the day namely, worshipful Swamiji from Udupi, Superintendent of Police of Udupi and the famous film director of kannada film industry, Dr. Rajendra Singh Babu. They inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp and shared their appreciation for Manjunath Hegde who had hosted this show in memory of his brother Late. T. R. Chandrashekar Hegde who was a national champion in bodybuilding.
The last two titles to be contested for were 'Bharath Kumar' and 'Bharath Shree' where in 'Bharath Shree' is considered to be the most prestigious award of the entire event. Once again senior bodybuilders from all across the country displayed their cut-to-perfection muscular bodies. The audience roared the names of their heroes as the bodybuilders took the stage for the show-off. They flaunted their biceps, triceps, wide back, 6-8 pack abdomen, marvellous thighs, lemon-like calf muscles, vast chests, wing-like lats with the music adding more energy into the show. Finally, by 10 pm both these titles were given away to the winners. Exclusive cash prizes were presented to the title winners along with a victory cup to carry to their homes and homelands. National and international referees also presided over the event. Mr. Balnaidu, the general secretary of IFBF along with other Vice-Presidents made sure that the competition was conducted to the best standards possible and there were no hiccups throughout. Overall, it was an inspiring as well as an enjoyable experience to be a part of this competition for me.
Looking forward to host and conduct more such bodybuilding competitions in coming future.......