Duo named challenge champions
A 5am start and a four-hour drive paid off for two Matamata women after they took out top honours at the NABBA East Coast Bodybuilding Championships.
Janelle Burnside was named winner of the fitness model class and Jan Peters was winner of the 40-plus figure section at last Saturday’s event in Gisborne.
The pair train at Evolve Fitness Matamata and are relatively new to the competitive sport. ‘‘It’s my first gold medal,’’ said Jan. ‘‘It’s taken me nearly 50 years to get one.’’
The wins mean they qualify to compete in the national competition in Auckland in October – with the event falling on Jan’s 50th birthday.
Fitness is a huge part of the New World employee’s life – she spent years as an aerobics instructor before she was struck down with a chronic autoimmune condition.
Lupus affects one in 900 New Zealanders and causes the immune system to become hyperactive and attack healthy tissue in the body.
Following her diagnosis, Jan took a 10-year break from the gym, until she decided to take on the Evolve Fitness Challenge.
She now hits the gym seven days a week and three months ago owner Sarah Goldsmith encouraged her to give competing a go.
‘‘I thought since I was coming up 50 I would give it a shot,’’ she said.
Gisborne was her second time competing and sharing her success on stage was a major confidence boost, she said.
The performance side of things was also a draw card for Janelle, who has been competing for about a year.
The mother-of-two competes in the fitness section and has to display outstanding strength, flexibility and endurance.
This includes performing a 90-second fitness routine on stage, as well as a ball gown and exercise gear section.
‘‘I love being on stage and the theatre side of things,’’ she said.
‘‘I have two kids so I can’t really attend night- time rehearsals or anything for theatre so that’s the cool thing about this – I can get on stage and do my training while the kids are at school.’’
There are six ladies from Evolve Fitness that are involved in the sport and the fitness centre will be represented in every section at the nationals.
‘‘They are an awesome bunch of said Jan.
‘‘I think that’s what I enjoy the most, everyone’s positive and so supportive of each other.’’
Proud: Janelle Burnside and Jan Peters after winning their categories at the East Coast Bodybuilding Championships.