Beware, bodybuilding, for there's a new sport on the block.
Bodybuilding Singapore, formerly known as the Singapore Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (SBPF), is organising an event solely on fitness modelling.
The 2014 Singapore Fitness Model Search (SFMS) will be held on Sept 28 at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The event is a breakaway from the traditional Singapore National Championships, which Bodybuilding Singapore is hosting today, also at NUS.
Fitness models strive to attain physiques like those of swimwear or fitness models.
While bodybuilding emphasises maximum muscularity, fitness models can be penalised for it. Instead, they focus on aesthetic balance, poise, and overall appeal.
Bodybuilding Singapore president Kevin Chiak, 48, said the move to host a separate event for fitness models was on the back of the sport's soaring popularity globally over the past year.
"Fitness modelling is the new bodybuilding," Chiak said.
"In Korea earlier this year, over 350 women competed in the Miss Bikini Fitness event, and even the international bodybuilding organisations are holding events for it.
"It is more achievable than bodybuilding, so the participation rate is high.
"People want (to build on their) physique for their image and health, and now they can also put their work into competition. "Also, athletes are less likely to resort to doping - because they don't need it for this purpose."
Bodybuilding Singapore, formed in 2012, also sanctioned the HomeTeamNS Singapore Fitness Model Search on Sept 6 at Sentosa.
The upcoming SFMS comprises two Men's Physique categories (ages 18-29 and above 30) - where competitors will wear board shorts in lieu of posing trunks - and a Miss Bikini Fitness contest.
The events will feature a total of 50 participants.
Meanwhile, Chiak is pleased that the more traditional sport of bodybuilding is continuing to hold its own.
The National Championships today will see a record 95 competitors, up from 65 last year.
This year's competition will also see a new Mr Singapore Junior title, for athletes between 18 and 23 years.
"We want to help compensate for the younger athletes' loss of time because they have to serve National Service," said Chiak, who was crowned Mr Singapore in 2010.
This article was first published on Sep 14, 2014.
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