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Team Pro-Life

A well known father and son will compete at the same event for the first time ever on Sunday, (June 7) when they take part in the legendary Scottish Championships run by the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation.

Former BNBF British champion, well known Paisley man Alex Whelan, gave up competing 15 years ago but he’s back and hopes to be amongst those bringing some glory back from the event in Perth to his home town.

And his rookie son Alex jnr will be challenging for the first time following in a family tradition started many years by his grandfather Alex senior who is a former Scottish champion.

New boy Alex, 32, will be taking part in the Lightweight Novice category and he’s feeling the pressure with two hard acts to follow.

“I’m the third generation of Whelans to be competing so there’s a lot of weight on my shoulders but I’m looking forward to the competition. I’ve been training seven days a week under the watchful eye of my Dad.

“He’s a hard task master and I’ve had to be very disciplined following his strict nutrition, diet and training regime to get in shape.  He wouldn’t accept anything else. I’m just lucky to have him to guide me in the right direction from day one.

“We have a good team going up from Pro-Life and hope to do Paisley proud.”

Alex added: “I can’t wait to get out there now. I’ll probably be nervous with anticipation but really up for it.  I’ve promised myself a curry if I do well. I’ve already started thinking about it. Banning so much from my diet has been tough but worth it hopefully.”

His father and mentor Alex, 59, will be competing in the Over 50s band facing up to rivals from all over the country. Despite being away from the competitive scene for a decade and a half he is relishing the challenge of being back.

While he has never given up training rising stars in various sports and has managed to keep himself extremely fit and in shape he knows competitions are tough and as well as demanding training a good mindset is necessary.

Alex said: “We’ve got 12 people from Pro-Life competing at this event which is our biggest contingent ever and there’s several bus loads of supporters coming along to cheer us on so it should be a great day.

“Everyone has worked really hard over the past few months to be at their best and they are all ready and up for the challenge. This event has become one of the best and biggest in the country.  I think it is more popular because it is all natural, it is drug tested and everyone knows they are competing on a level playing field.

“The team have all realised what can be achieved with hard training and we’ve got two girls competing this year in quite different categories and four or five more girls interested in doing the show next year. “

Alex, who gifted the Pro-Life gym to Renfrewshire Sports Charity a year ago, added: “I’m not involved in the running of the centre anymore but I am still involved in helping anyone who is looking for diet, nutrition and fitness advice.

“While we do help a lot of sportsmen such as bodybuilders, boxers, Thai boxers, ice hockey players, rugby teams and more what people need to realise is that the same disciplines can be applied by anyone who wants to support the charity by using Pro-Life to get fit and active.

“Every member who comes through the door for a class, just looking to get a bit fitter and more active or lose a bit of weight, has access to so many knowledgeable people who are more than happy to help.”

Newcomer Christine Clarke, 26, will compete in the best figure category while 29-year-old, Stacey Ferguson, also a first-time competitor, is hoping for success in the ladies athletic body category.

The girls are looking forward to the big day and hope their training and discipline over months of hard work will pay off.

Buddie Christine said: “I’m really pleased to be part of the team representing not only the gym but Paisley too. I’ve had lots of support and encouragement to get where I am today and I’m grateful to everyone at Pro-Life for that.”

The team is being sponsored by Renfrewshire Sports Charity who have supplied all their new jackets.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at the charity, said: “We are happy to be sponsoring team Pro-Life for this prestigious event and know they are going to do us proud. They are all winners already for achieving their own personal goals and ambitions to be competing at such a high level.

“They will probably have the loudest support in the venue as hundreds of people cheer them on to the top spots. The charity wishes them all well and we look forward to seeing some more silverware in the gym.”

Others taking part include Davie Sloan, Mark Gillan, Steven Kane, Mick Boyle, Billy McCormick, David Hennessy and Michael Boyle.





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