|Spreading the gospel of body
Veteran physical culturist
R.L.J.Navaratne has promoted the iron sport in the outskirts
through the Mr Hercules Body Building Championships which he
conducts every year. This year the Body Building Championships
will be held on November 26th at the Janasetha Foundation in
building is one sport in Sri Lanka that has taken physical
culturists to a new level of thinking. The advent of high
protein supplements and modern training methods have given rise
to a new breed of body builders who have thrown out the Greek
God image and embraced the Frankenstein look. Most of them earn
a living from body building by working in gymnasiums as
However, there still remain a handful of physical culturists who
‘pump iron’ with a view of leading healthy lifestyles. Body
building remains a past time for them.
R.L.J Navaratne, a veteran body builder and a former
vice-president of the Sri Lanka Body Building Federation (SLBBF)
is one body builder who has conducted his activities in physical
culture within the frame work of amateurism. He is better known
in the body building circles as the man who conducts the Mr.
Hercules Body Building Championships.
This year too Navaratne has made arrangements for his annual
muscle contest which will be held at Janasetha Foundation in
Pokunuwita on November 26 (Sunday). Prejudging starts at 9.am.
This marks the 19th occasion that Navaratne conducts the
championships after he revived it in 1987. The Hercules
championships were earlier conducted by the SLBBF before it
ceased organizing it in 1984.
Navaratne in an interview with The Nation said that there was a
great significance in the name Hercules being associated with
body building. “A strong person called Argos took the name of
Hercules. History reveals that he believed in the strength of
his body more than in any thing else. I think the name Hercules
really suits body building,” said Navaratne. According to
Navaratne there have been times when body building clubs in
India and Sri Lanka have been named after this strong man.
A key feature in this year’s Mr. Hercules Body Building
Championships is that contestants will not be charged an entry
fee. Asked why he had held the last couple of championships in
the suburbs and not in Colombo, Navaratne said, “I believe
efforts should be taken to develop the sport in areas away from
Navaratne said that he would do everything possible to ensure
that contestants would not face difficulties while taking part
in the championships. “I have decided to commence the
championships early as 9 am so that contestants can return to
their homes at a decent time. The championships will be held in
keeping with the accepted weight classes to make sure that there
is maximum participation,” explained Navaratne. (RN)