Champion bodybuilder will collect Thor's hammer if crowned Mr Cork

Republic of Ireland Body Building Federation event takes place this weekend in the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow
Champion bodybuilder will collect Thor's hammer if crowned Mr Cork

Competitors on stage at the Mr Cork BodyBuilding Championships at the Cork Opera House in 2013. Picture: Dan Linehan

SUNDAY will see bodybuilders from all over Ireland and further afield descend on the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow for the RIBBF competition.

RIBBF is the Republic of Ireland Body Building Federation and is recognised by the world sporting body, so if bodybuilding ever comes into the Olympics it will be under the auspices of the RIBBF.

Bodybuilding in Cork started back in the 60s with a Mr Cork title and was a popular show over the years.

However, it died out and didn’t run for a number of years. In 2013 started it up again as a RIBBF show, whilst before that, it has been locally run.

Due to the pandemic, there was no event since 2019 but following on from Sunday they plan to run another event in April of 2022.

A collage showing some of the previous winners of Mr Cork with organiser Paul Keating.
A collage showing some of the previous winners of Mr Cork with organiser Paul Keating.

There are many classes available to competitors on the day they include Masters Bikini which is for women 35 years or older and Masters Bodybuilding which is for men 40 or older.

According to the organisers competitors are expected from all over the country but can only compete if they are RIBBF registered.

There will be 18 different categories on the day and they are categorised in a number of ways.

For the male bodybuilding categories they are: Juniors (U23 year of age but over 18); first-timers (competing for the first time); the master (40 years plus); the all weighted classes so under 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 90kg, and over 90kg.

Every winner of these categories all stand on stage for the overall winner who will be crowned Mr Cork and presented with a custom-made trophy in the shape of a Thor hammer.

The specially commissioned trophy will be presented to the Mr Cork overall winner on Sunday.
The specially commissioned trophy will be presented to the Mr Cork overall winner on Sunday.

The overall male winner will receive a year’s sponsorship from Complete Strength Supplements.

The second part of the show will take in men’s physique, who would have more of a beach body look.

There are also similar competitions for females where they will have a body fitness category that is quite muscular and then several bikini categories.

Like the men’s physique are categories in the women’s competitions. There will also be an overall winner in the women’s competitions.

According to organiser, Paul Keating, the sport has a rich history in Cork. 

In Cork, we have lots of recognised bodybuilders both past and present, such as Jim Benskin in Midleton; Erik Henry and retired bodybuilder Gus Walsh. He is a former European champion and was the guest poser in 2016 at the age of 68.”

Keating, who lives in Mallow, got involved in bodybuilding in 2006 and started competing himself in 2009.

“I took over running the Cork show when it was run as an independent non-federation one. It hadn’t run for a year or two so I decided to bring it back to Cork in 2013 as a RIBBF affiliated show. In the past, it has taken place at the Opera House and the convention centre at the Clayton Hotel, Silversprings.

“I had planned to run it at the Oriel House House and the Firkin Crane theatre at different times but unfortunately the pandemic prevented me from having a show.

“But the good news is that it will now go ahead on Sunday next at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow in their ballroom. I also plan on running the show again in April 2022 but have not decided on a venue yet. I get great support from Cork-based businesses every year and yet again this year and I would like to thank them for their support.”

The event is open to the public and tickets can be bought on the day at the door and all necessary Covid regulations will be in place.

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