The state of female bodybuilding in the UK has been a cause for concern for some time. Not the bodybuilders themselves - as we saw recently with Tamazine Danks on FMS - who remain as top quality as ever, but rather the lack of opportunity. Since neither NABBA UK nor the IFBB-affiliated UKBFF have had a class for FBBs for a few years now, the problem for a British FBB has been finding a competition that will have her.
There is, however, hope. The International Bodybuilding & Fitness Association (IBFA) is a non-profit organisation based in Italy, the brainchild of a Professor Biagio Filizola. His, and the federation's ethos, is for promoters to hook up with the IBFA but run their own shows independently, without what they call "political" interference. The IBFA takes no fees. Nor do they have their own judges imposing their own "standards". What the federation does provide, however, is the umbrella under which local competitions become national qualifiers and in turn these national championships produce teams which attend international IBFA competitions held in Italy.
And it's at these local IBFA qualifiers that British FBBs have been competing, and on June 14th an all-Britain finals show was held up in Northumberland. There was a Women's Bodybuilding class, and there were female bodybuilders. Details are proving hard to come by - a results page I've found lists two names, but anecdotal reports say there were five. So, let's say there were between two and five British FBBs on show...
That may not sound like much of a reason to get all happy-clappy about the future, but that is two to five more women than the total number of FBBs who you will see competing at the NABBA Britain finals and the UKBFF Championships combined.
And what's even more pleasing was that the winner, the new IBFA British Champion, was a woman who is undeniably worthy of the title - the gorgeous and very VERY muscle sexy FMS fave and self-styled "Spartan", Christal Cornick.
She qualified for the IBFA British by winning the South Coast Classic qualifier in May, and whether she beat one, two, three or four women to the British title, no one can claim she doesn't deserve her moment in the British female bodybuilding spotlight. Christal has been around the top of the UK female muscle tree for some time now. She was 3rd the last time Women's Bodybuilding was held at the UKBFF British in 2013, and she has no fewer than seven regional titles to her name now.
It always seems that images of female bodybuilders at UK shows are "rarer than truffles" as one fan has succinctly put it. Sadly, this competition was no different, and there are very few pictures of Christal's triumph knocking around.
But, as we've noted before in our pieces featuring Christal on FMS passim, there is always plenty of fun to be had following Christal on Twitter, on Facebook and now on Instagram as well. Sexy, flirtatious, prime female muscle fun. My kind of fun!
Tricep & forearm veins, she wrote about the above picture a few days before her IBFA regional. Turning inside out is fun! There's a back and glutes selfie of a naked Christal dedicated to "those who missed the total eclipse", there is Christal in some very naughty looking heels, her swole calves bulging. She gives you a morning abs flex, and her pumped up pecs close-up in the gym... Like I said, my kind of fun!
I'm not alone in my enjoyment. Christal seems to have a loyal - and growing - following. I saw on Twitter [that she had won] and was so happy, wrote one fan after the event. I was actually nervous for her on the day of the competition because I wanted her to win. And our very own FMS Head of Research, JT, calls her "really sweet", and confesses she is quickly becoming "a hot favourite" of his.
According to their website, at least one of the IBFA's international events that take place in the Prof's hometown takes place on the beach at night, and attracts hundreds of spectators from among the locals and tourists. With her Roman goddess looks, I can just see Christal there, the Mediterranean dark below a blood red sunset framing her in silhouette as she flexes to the astonished gasps of the audience...
Yes, I can see our British champ doing very nicely representing the UK.
Congratulations to Christal. Long may her Spartan conquests continue!
And well done to the Professor, the IBFA, and to the promoters in the UK, both local and national, who are keeping British female bodybuilding alive, and giving Christal et al the opportunity to compete and progress to international contests.