BODYBUILDING Fiji has named a strong seven-member squad to represent the nation in the 2012 South Pacific Bodybuilding Championships in Rarotonga, Cook Islands next month.
Making a return to the team is former Mr Fiji Ben Saqata. An experienced bodybuilder, Saqata will compete in the Under-85kg class. Bodybuilding Fiji president Reg Sanday said Saqata featured in the U90 class during the National Championships in Nadi last Saturday.
He said the former champion had entered the event weighing in at 86kg.
"Ben is an experienced bodybuilder and knows how to shed weight to fit the 85kg weight category," Sandy said.
"He will look terrific if he sheds another two to three kilograms. Ben is certainly capable of doing that.
"Last Saturday's championship was of high standard. The athletes looked trimmer. This is a reflection of the consistent competition being held in recent years.
"The team has been endorsed by the national committee and is a mixture of youth and experience. We are grooming our younger athletes to peak at the next Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea. "That is why we have chosen Lewaitasi Biliwaqa in the U75kg category. He won the Most Promising Award on Saturday.
"The major challenge for us now is to find the funding to send the team across to Rarotonga. We have asked all athletes to seek sponsorship themselves through their network.
"Bodybuilding Fiji is appealing to the public and business houses to donate funds to assist the team. Donations can be made to Bodybuilding Fiji's Bank of the South Pacific account 7827603.
"If Fiji has to win medals at the next Pacific Games, then the investment has to start now by grooming athletes at regional competitions."
Maryann Ma'afu Moss, the lone woman competitor will captain Team Fiji. Moss, who is familiar with the Cook Islands having schooled there for more than eight years, is expected to have a positive influence on the team. The South Pacific Bodybuilding Championships will be held in Rarotonga from November 11-12.
Fiji team: Over 90kg Voniriti Radua, U90kg Kevu Dilialevu, U85kg Ben Saqata, U80kg Hamen Anand, U75kg Lewaitasi Biliwaqa, U65kg Param Sivam, Women's category Maryann Ma'afu Moss.