Fitness Challenge set to sizzle on March 5
By Avenash Ramzan
In a test of fitness, strength and stamina, the nation’s fittest athletes will converge on the National Park Tarmac on March 5 for what is touted as the biggest Fitness Challenge ever to be staged by Guyana Fitness Games.
Hosted for the third year in succession, the eagerly anticipated Fitness Challenge was launched on Sunday afternoon, exactly a week before the men and women, who pride themselves of being the best at what they do, clash in a sizzling showdown.
The Fitness Challenge team and sponsors representatives were on hand at the Giftland Mall on Sunday where the official launch took place, followed by a demonstration of what is expected on March 5 by a group which included Guyana’s signing sensation, Timeka Marshall.
Prior to their high-energy performance, which captivated the special invitees and those having an afternoon lime at ‘The Entertainment Strip’, Organiser Jordana Ramsay-Gonsalves of Guyana Fitness Games expressed gratitude to the band of sponsors, some of whom are newcomers to the event, for their involvement.
Ramsay-Gonsalves promised another thrilling day of action, noting that participants have been training vigorously for the one day event, which is expected to commence at 11:00h.
Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, lauded the organisers for once again hosting the Fitness Challenge, pointing to their consistency in ensuring the event is held every year. He said while the National Sports Commission stands ready to offer support, government alone cannot shoulder the burden in developing sports.
With this in mind, he commended corporate Guyana for once again embracing the event.
General Manager Dennis Nandan of first-time sponsor, Kares Engineering, said his company was elated to be onboard with the Fitness Challenge. Nandan reasoned that “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”, and his entity is enthused to be aligned with such an initiative.
Ansa McAl Trading, through its global brand Lucozade, is the beverage provider of the one day activity. Sean Abel told the gathering that Ansa McAl Trading has always been an avid supporter of sport in Guyana, hence the Fitness Challenge was a natural fit.
Managing Director of the Giftland Mall, Roy Beepat, noted that his establishment has a long and distinguished record of community service, and this is just another activity in that regard. He added that Giftland over the years has been supporting the efforts of young sportsmen and women and that will continue well into the future.
A new addition to this year’s event is the Celebrity Charity Challenge, sponsored by another first-time sponsor, Scotiabank. Marketing Manager, Jennifer Cipriani, said supporting the charity aspect of the day’s proceedings “was a no-brainer”, as the bank is big on helping those in need.
The Scotiabank Celebrity Charity Challenge will bring together familiar faces such as Kerwin Bollers, Ashley John, Sean Major, Vanilla, Reon King, Nuriyyih Gerrard and Yannick Charles testing their fitness in aid of charity. The beneficiaries are the Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Centre and Help and Shelter.
Also present at the launch were Dellon Murray and Stephan Sookram, representatives of Roraima Group and Windjammer Hotel respectively. They both shared their company’s delight to be part of the activity.
Jamie McDonald of Guyana Fitness Games, in giving an overview of the day’s programme, said there will be five events, an increase from the four held last year. Among the events planned are a two-mile run, 400m sack carry, deadlifts, box jumps, KB swings, chin over bar pull-ups, overhead squats and clean and jerk ladder.
In 2016, Dillon Mahadeo (395 points) won the Male segment, followed by Carlos Mendonca (332) and Monano Jeffrey (328), while Candace Lynch (390) won the Female category, ahead of Semonica Duke (385) and Neesa Bhagwandin (355). Life Gym took the team title with 975 points, while Elite Systems finished second on 969 and Cross Fit Bel Air third on 866.
This year’s event is sponsored by Kares Engineering, Trophy Stall, Giftland Mall, Ansa McAl Trading (Lucozade), DeSinco Trading (Degree), Tech Pro, Fitness Express, Genesis Fitness Express, Star Party Rentals, Baganara Island Resort, Wings Investments, St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, Arrowpoint, Johnny P Supermarket and Windjammer Hotel.
Admission to the venue is $1,000 per person.