Robert claims Mr Northern Ireland accolade

Local bodybuilder Robert Allen is new NABBA Mr Northern Ireland.
Local bodybuilder Robert Allen is new NABBA Mr Northern Ireland.

Robert Allen made a successful return to the bodybuilding arena recently.

The Cullybackey man came back from a break from the sport to win the National Amateur Body-Building Association (NABBA) Mr Northern Ireland title.

Robert, who trains out of Alistair Smyth’s gym in Cullybackey, under the tutelage of former champion and training partner Paul Stewart, scooped the sport’s most coveted award in this country at the event in Belfast.

“As a competitive bodybuilder, we have all dreamt one day of holding the title and to be crowned the Overall Mr Northern Ireland 2016 is an overwhelming and very humbling experience,” said Robert.

“I must say its a privilege and an honour to train with such a fantastic bodybuilder, mentor and indeed a gentleman as Paul.

“Paul is more than just a training partner too - he’s one of my best friends, my nearest and dearest, and is indeed like a big brother to me. Like Alistair, I want to thank Paul for his continued support and belief in me too, especially when I repeatedly doubted my own abilities. He is and was a constant source of positivity, reassurance and inspiration,” said Robert, who also thanked partner Cathy who, he said, “has experienced the highs and lows of a competitive bodybuilders diet and stood strong by my side.”

Robert will now compete in the NABBA British finals in Southport on May 28.