Ruth Naidoo

INBA Mini Report and Pics
brought to you by Lisa and the dynamic duo of
Catherine Culiccio and her hubby.

what a poser!
Patrick Petelo


Graphic by Sam Murphy

Report and Pics! NABBA WFF Christchurch Grand Prix

Plus video of Tom Wojcik pumping up backstage.
Check out his great condition!

Read more...','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Tarren with her team of 11

The INBA Incident and some (sort of) Happy Snaps

You know I've always been a straight shooter.  I'm pretty honest and tell it like it is.  I don't want or need any drama but what I'm about to write may get me into more trouble.  If I do, I do but I need to be true to my integrity and get this incident at the INBA Auckland Champs off my mind before my stress levels go through the roof!

There I was sitting in the audience at the INBA Auckland Champs.  A strange place for me considering my 'home' is usually backstage taking happy snaps and catching up with everyone.  Looking around I see around 150 people in the audience and 40 athletes backstage.  So all up probably about 200 people at the Glenfield College.  Small numbers but we are all there to support the athletes who've spent weeks and months preparing to look their best for the show.

In the scheme of things bodybuilding is a subculture sport that only muscle worshippers understand.  A sport that doesn't get much publicity and its been my (Go Figure's) mission to do what I can to create the awareness for the sport I love and have developed so many friendships along the way.   Since the site began almost 10 years ago, I've been chuffed that people have found the site interesting not only with bodybuilding but useful fitness information that inspires people to get fit.  

Not only does Go Figure provide pre show publicity for all the bodybuilding organisations but also the post coverage report and pics.  It provides impartial news, information and occasional fun gossip about people and shows that focus on bodybuilding.  Like Nate says on our post on facebook 'Go Figure's the Perez Hilton of Bodybuilding'   So yes unashamedly I can say Go Figure is the centrepoint of bodybuiding in NZ.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Separated at birth            Michelle with her     Tarren with Bronte and Kym.  All hands on Pat
Jason and Mike                 party food

With that I'm proud to say that now I get almost 12,000 unique visitors a month coming to visit us. Obviously not all for bodybuilding as we haven't got that many bodybuilders in NZ - or could we potentially have that much?

So back to the numbers.  200 people at a show is small stuff compared to what the site gets.  So I shouldn't have been upset that I wasn't allowed backstage to do my thing as I know I get more than that at Go Figure.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Vanessa and Jason
But to me its not about stats. 

Go Figure is about people and sharing their stories and personalities through happy snaps. Its about giving bodybuilding some soul and not just pics of weird bronzed people on stage - which is pretty much the image normal people know of  bodybuilding have.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Donelle and her hideaway
hunky hubby Pat
I would like to believe that Happy Snaps are not careless pics that anyone can take.  They are thoughtful, interesting and funny snaps of people's lives captured at the pinnacle of athlete's peak performance.  

I don't take pics of anyone naked or in toilets. I may have my camera in my hand but I always have camera in my hand.  If I happen to take pics of someone and there's a naked person or a butt in the background, then obviously I don't use those pics.  Over the years I have developed good judgement and taste otherwise Go Figure wouldn't be here for so long.

If anyone doesn't want pics taken, no problem, I don't force people.  But surprisingly most people know who I or at least Go Figure is and more than happy to break out a smile or a double biceps.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Jo, Linda and B
So why am I not backstage at this show?  Well actually I was.  Before the show I asked the organiser (like I always do so I don't get into any trouble) if it was ok for me to take pics and I promised I won't go to the toilets and stay in the open area backstage.  So that was fine.  Was backstage preshow and did my thing feeling good and seeing some familiar faces and bodies.

Then it was time for the athlete parade at the beginning so I went out into auditorium and check out the action. However when I went to return backstage I was stopped at the door by a 'guard' and was told I wasn't allowed backstage unless I had a backstage pass or I got a nod/wave from organiser saying it was ok.    I thought ok, it'll be fine I'll just go back to the organiser and ask him to give the doorman a nod.  

But low and behold I was gobsmacked when he said 'I don't want you backstage Lisa'.  There was no explanation or discussion.  That was it and he went back to the rest of his duties at the table.  I'm not into drama and I don't want to cause anymore stress to him or me but I was upset.  I didn't think it would hit me that hard but people who were around me knew how much this affected me.

What made it even worse was that the doorman didn't even let me go backstage to get my bag.  How pedantic is that.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Elle and Stacey with
CLM Team
I could've gone home there and then.  But that's not my style, I'm a professional and there for the athlete and it was important that I saw the show through.  Mind you, I did just sit in the audience and didn't pick up the camera as didn't feel like taking pics.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Ali G and Jade

At intermission I had words with the organiser.  He explained to me that they were trying to not allow any cameras backstage as 'some' people were uncomfy with having cameras around.  Yet I saw lots of people going in and out of the backstage area with cameras around their necks without the guard stopping them.  I guess no one stopped them taking pics backstage either as many pics have appeared on facebook.   

He said I am allowed to take pics backstage but not in the pumping up area or areas where they were getting dressed or tanning - which at this venue is pretty much everywhere.  He suggested I took them outside as not one is around.  This option isn't really great as it was getting dark and cold outside.  Anyway the point of Happy Snaps is you're capturing the 'moment' and anything not part of the process is not real.  Which is what Go Figure is about.','FullPhoto','width=100,height=100,top=200,left=200');">
Mateo and Pat
To me.  Your word is your word and you don't go back on it.  I think this is what upset me most.  If he had said no at the start and gave me the options, then ok I would've dealt with it.  But to be dismissed like that after all the years we've worked together, that is disasppointing.

I'm not sure what will happen from here.  It could jeopardise me to be at other shows but if that's the way it is I'll deal with it.  Ideally, I would like to be backstage at all bodybodybuilding organisations as that is my 'home' and its my place to capture our happy family. 

All we need is a discussion and find a place at various venues that everyone is happy to be photographed that is still part of the show.

Afterall, we all have a place in bodybuilding.  Some are competitors, some are officials, some are happy tanners and helpers.  And some are Happy Snappers!  The more we can help each other the more we can help the sport grow.  

Is that not simple? Go Figure!

Lisa Menzies
4 June 2012

p.s yes we will have stage pics and report up like we always do!

If you'd like to make a comment or write your thoughts about what we could to improve what we do please go to our facebook page:

Response from Peter Hardwick regarding the above

"Hi Lisa
I have been reading with interest your story regarding the “incident” at the recent INBA Auckland Championships. I notice that you mentioned that we talked before the show started
and that I mentioned that only contestants and their helpers were allowed into the changing area. (So why am I not backstage at this show? Well actually I was. Before the show I asked the organiser (like I always do so I don't get into any trouble) if it was ok for me to take pics and I promised I won't go to the toilets and stay in the open area backstage.) I did say that it was ok to take your photo's but not in the changing area. There is no backstage at the Glenfield venue as all space is needed for changing and preparation. However you had access to the rest of the venue as you have always had in the past. The toilets are not the only area's where the contestants need privacy. This is not a new policy as I have talked to you regarding this many times before and I have explained the reasons for this.

Firstly, we always have people competing for the first time and who are new to the sport. Many are self concious about being semi clad or even naked while preparing to go on stage and do not appreciate people walking around the area with a camera.
Secondly, the area is a preparation area where contestants also prepare themselves mentally before going onstage. Everybody has a different method of preparation and some resent being badgered into getting their photo taken or even snapped while warming up.
Thirdly, unfortunately we have had instances when contestants have found items missing when the come off stage. This is definitely not casting any aspersions on you regarding this but limiting the number of unnecessary people in the preparation area is one way of combating this.
Fourthly. Our backstage marshalls are all volunteers, often doing a somewhat difficult job for the first time. They are a key component in the efficient organisation of the event and do not need the added stress of waiting while the contestants pose for “happy snaps”.

For many years I have co-operated with you at events that I have organised and you have had access to all areas of the venues with the proviso that you do not take your camera into the changing and preparation areas. In spite of this I invariably see shots on your webpage taken in these areas.

After my last show I again had comments from people who were uncomfortable with your cameras in the changing area as well as the number of people who were not contestants in these areas.. This is why I introduced a more secure system at this event. It did not work perfectly but I’m sure that we can improve on this.

The venue that we use all have different configurations, Glenfield College does not have a backstage as such. The steps leading up to the stage start in the preparation area. In cases such as this I suggest that you talk to the athletes before they go into the changing area and ask them to come out so that you can take their happy snaps. You can have access to any part of the venue except the preparation area for this purpose.

My responsibilty as contest organiser is to conduct an organised event in a professional manner in which the audience, the contestants and sponsors all have a safe and enjoyable experience. This includes ensuring the privacy of contestants and treating them with respect. I know of no other sport which would allow unlimited access to photographers in the dressing rooms.

I hope I have clarified the situation, Lisa, and as you are straight shooter I am sure that you will put this up on your web page so that contestants who wish to feature in happy snaps can co-operate with you. I am also accessable and should you wish to discuss this further over a cup of coffee somewhere, feel free to contact me.

Peter Hardwick
10 June 12

NABBA Manawatu Pics  by Paul McSweeney.

Overall winners: Ali Richards, Mike Smith, Sue Bettridge, Kenneth Clayton


NZIFBB South Island Champs Pics by Paul McSweeney.

left: Former NZIFBB Pres Mark Stewart and current President Moe Moussawi

Bron and Moe
with Overall Winners



Report and Pics of NABBA Auckland Champs!

Check out all the action from the show here


Auckland turned on a large crowd to welcome 8 time Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman.   Around 150 muscle enthusiasts came to hear how Ronnie got into bodybuilding and asked him questions about his food and training.
An interesting fact about Ronnie is that his lowest ever bodyfat was .33%, his off season is between 3-5%.  How about that for great genetics and metabolism!

Check out our happy snaps of Ronnie and people in the crowd below.


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