THE JOURNEY BEGINS

The Ultimate Beginners, which takes place this month, will see a new wave of competitors hit the stage for the first time.

The Woodville Hall in Gravesend, Kent will host the event on July 28. As the name suggests, it is for men and women who have never competed before.

With 80 people already registered, it is set to be a busy show.

There are men's classes for junior bodybuilding, junior men's physique, masters bodybuilding, masters men's physique, under 90 kg and over 90 kg bodybuilding, classic bodybuilding, classic physique and men's physique.

There are women's classes for junior bikini fitness, masters bikini fitness, masters bodyfitness, bodyfitness, up to 164 cm and over 164 cm bikini fitness, wellness, fitness, bikini fitness and women's physique.

 Carly Howlett celebrates on stage at last year's event. Image by Christopher Bailey.

Carly Howlett celebrates on stage at last year's event. Image by Christopher Bailey.

Entrants don't have to look far for inspiration. Last year Carly Howlett, a mother-of-three who had just turned 35, competed for the first time at the Ultimate Beginners, won masters bikini fitness, and is now preparing to compete at the Arnold Classic Europe in Spain.

Clare Pritchard, who was runner-up to Carly that day, has also gone on to do well: she represented the UK at the IFBB European Championships in Spain this year in masters bikini fitness, with the cost of her hotel and flight covered by the federation.

 Clare Pritchard made her debut in last year's show and has since represented the UK at the IFBB European Championships.

Clare Pritchard made her debut in last year's show and has since represented the UK at the IFBB European Championships.

Anyone who would like to compete at this year's Ultimate Beginners can download an entry form here https://www.ukbff.co.uk/upcoming-events/2018/7/28/ukbff-ultimate-beginners-stars-of-tomorrow

You will need to be a UKBFF member to take part. Forms are available here. https://www.ukbff.co.uk/ukbff-rules/

All the paperwork can be sorted at registration on the day if you prefer. Just turn up and have fun!

Tickets for spectators cost £23 and can be ordered directly from the Woodville Hall on 01474 337459.