• Bay bodybuilding rookie captures title in first show

Bay bodybuilding rookie captures title in first show

Hawke's Bay forklift operator Mataitu Sa'o enjoys going to the gym to keep his fitness levels up.

It was during one of his visits to the FlaXrock Gym in Flaxmere he came across former Hawke's Bay Unicorns rugby league representative Don Poloa who is now a personal trainer and a former national bodybuilding titleholder.

Poloa suggested to Sa'o (pictured above) he should give yesterday's NABBA Hawke's Bay Bodybuilding Championships a crack.

"It was my first show and with nine weeks preparation I took out my class," Sa'o recalled today.

A former Hastings Boys' High School basketballer and volleyballer. Sa'o, 32, won the three-strong Physique Novice Tall class.

"The discipline I had during my basketball and volleyball days helped with my bodybuilding training and nutrition programmes," Sa'o explained.

"Don helped me heaps by sharing all his knowledge and I also went to some Paty Gym cardio classes," Sa'o said.

"I've got the bodybuilding bug and I'm hoping to put on a bit more size before I go to the October nationals in Palmerston North," Sa'o added.

Yesterday's championships attracted more than 40 competitors from throughout the country to the Lindisfarne College Performing Arts Centre.