All photos by Kevin Horton
A wave of new British IFBB Elite Pros are preparing to hit the stage as the 2019 season gets underway.
The IFBB Elite Pro division awarded more than $1m in prize money in its inaugural year in 2018.
The first shows in Europe are looming with the €26,000 IFBB Elite Pro Nafplio in Greece, the $18,000 Elite Pro France and the €15,000 Elite Pro Malta on successive weekends in April.
Eight winners at last year's UKBFF British Championships in Nottingham were invited to step up to the pro ranks, and many are deep in prep for their pro debuts.
Pro membership costs €150 a year and the UKBFF has agreed to cover the cost of this for all our British champions in their rookie year on the pro circuit. So who is doing what?
Alaura Galeru, the reigning British wellness champion, is planning a busy spring by competing in Greece and Malta as well as the Arnold Classic South Africa in May.
Women's physique champion Andrea Corbett and men's physique champion El Noval are also hoping to step on stage at the Arnold in South Africa, which has $90,000 prize money.
Paul Harris, the first classic physique British champion, also intends to make his pro debut in South Africa. Promoter Wayne Price offered free accommodation to the first pros to sign up for the show.
Kristie Sanderson is planning a quick return to the stage after her outstanding autumn, which saw her finish second in a strong Arnold Classic Europe bodyfitness lineup then win the British bodyfitness overall title.
Kristie is in full prep mode for the France pro show, which is a new addition to the calendar.
Mahmoud Elmawardy, who won muscular men's physique, is set for a triple assault in the men's physique pro ranks by competing in Greece, Malta and South Africa.
Classic bodybuilding overall champion Austin Williams is looking to compete in classic physique after spending years suffering to get down to 85kg in classic bodybuilding but has yet to decide when to make his pro debut.
Marta Mila, who won the British bikini fitness title at just 24 years old, plans to take a year off before competing as an Elite Pro in 2020.
Good luck to all of our champions as they hit the pro stage!