Maria Bellando Southern States Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships
by Lisa White
In the world of bodybuilding there are some events that are big and some that are L-A-R-G-E as in the case of the Maria Bellando Southern States Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships. Competitors new to the circuit may be surprised after signing up for this show at the high caliber competition they will face. Maria Bellando began promoting the 31-year-old show eleven years ago and has seen the stages filled with many of the highest caliber athletes from across the nation.
Maria's own rise to the IFBB Pro level was rather quick but that doesn't mean it wasn't well earned. After years of gymnastics training Maria set out to do a mixed pairs bodybuilding show after being dared on a bet and the bet paid off. In a line up of dozens of girls she came in seventh place. From that point on she was hooked she explained to IFBB Pro Marie Ann Newman during her interview on the Mo Knows Fitness show. Her career began in bodybuilding, just as Mo's career began with Maria crossing over to fitness and Mo to figure. The crossover was smooth due to her history in gymnastics, but now it wasn't just the grueling diet she had to worry about but the routine she would have to perform. The training, routines and dieting paid off and Maria Bellando earned her pro-card in 1998. Maria has not only gone on to compete but continues to train a multitude of athletes and choreograph routines for competitors whether competing in the South Florida area or the Olympia stage in the case of Dayana Cadeau.
As an efficient tactician and warm straightforward lady Maria has earned her reputation as a great promoter, fitness athlete and personal trainer. The Maria Bellando Southern States Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships to be held in Fort Lauderdale on July 9-10 is one of the largest and most steadfast traditions within the bodybuilding schedule. The two-day event begins on Friday and has a full day of competitions on Saturday. The Friday show is for the ladies and there is no prejudging. These athletes are judged live in front of the audience. As with national level NPC competitions the competitors must rely on camaraderie rather than their trainers who are not allowed backstage. Maria states that she wants the athletes to feel as if they are doing a national show as this is a way to prep for nationals.
Promoting the Maria Bellando Southern States Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships is no easy task and Maria has made it a priority to have the best venue and sponsors that draws a star studded crowd as well. The event will be taking place at the War Memorial Auditorium and as usual is expected this year to have a packed house. In years past it had been at the Convention Center but the family like ambiance just wasn't there. A few of the many sponsors include Met-Rx, Gaspari, Labrada, MuscleTech, and Flex.
It is not too late to purchase tickets or send in an entry form for the 2010 Maria Bellando NPC Southern States Championships. The numbers are expected to be large with close to 120 girls for fitness, figure and bikini on Friday and a few hundred for bodybuilding on Saturday. All information can be found on www.NPCSouthernStates.com
or you can contact Maria at MBFit1@bellsouth.net
. Tickets can also be purchased from TicketMaster.
Editors Note: BodybuildingFitnessFigure.com would like to thank both IFBB Pro's Maria Bellando and Marie Ann Newman for their informative interview and our staff writer and natural figure competitor Lisa White for producing this pre-show coverage.