‘Mr Tawa’ tops class
Johnny Starkey counts winning the novice section of the Wellington bodybuilding championships as ‘‘one of the best days of my life’’.
It was the Tawa 24-year-old’s first nudge at competitive bodybuilding.
He took out the under-70 kilogram class at the event, held last month at Victoria University’s Memorial Theatre.
The weeks of strict dieting – endless broccoli and chicken meals – drinking copious amounts of water and all the training was worth every moment, Starkey says.
He took two weeks off from his job in the butchery at Woolworths Tawa to prepare.
‘‘I didn’t enter to win; it was really about getting the experience and feedback from the judges about what I was doing OK, and what I need to improve.
‘‘I couldn’t believe it [when I won]. It was just a cool feeling. Quite honestly, it was one of the best days of my life.’’
Starkey says that along with making him feel good, bodybuilding brings discipline to his life. He’s proud of where he comes from, so his stage name is ‘‘Mr Tawa’’ – he has even had T-shirts made up to show off his home suburb.
His trainer at Porirua’s Cityfitness, Cliff Herewini, says Starkey’s overall development and symmetry impressed the judges in an excellent novice field.
‘‘He was the leanest and had the most visible muscle. It was close, but Johnny deserved to win. He trains hard, does what’s told and is very single-minded about what he wants to achieve.’’
Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, Starkey couldn’t attend the nationals, held over the weekend in Auckland. He’s hoping that a sponsor might be able to help him in future. His win in the Wellington novice section means he must now step up to open competition.
Great guns: Johnny Starkey, aka ‘Mr Tawa’, is proud to represent his home town when he steps on stage. After some early success in bodybuilding, he wants to keep improving and make a name for himself.