Strongman title to be decided at A&P show

ALDEN WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:58 05/08/2014
MaryAnn Mann
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ
BRUTE FORCE: The Vortex Top of the South Strongman Competition has been added to this year’s A&P Show by Nelson student Luke Slotemaker.

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The strongest man in the land will be revealed at the Richmond Showgrounds this year.

Nelson's Luke Slotemaker, 28, has added a new event to the Nelson A&P Show: The Vortex Top of the South Strongman Competition.

During the competition, contenders will flex their brawn over about half a dozen bruising categories, including deadlifting a car, carrying a 150kg-plus stone over 50 metres, and a race to flip boulder-sized tractor tyres.

To suit the A&P show theme, Slotemaker plans to add a rural flavour by using fertiliser or farm trucks in place of lifting weights.

While Slotemaker expects entries to be mostly local, the competition will be open to musclemen from all over New Zealand.

Creating and running such an event was part of his final assessment for his Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at the Auckland University of Technology, which he studies through the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

Though Slotemaker could pitch any athletic event he liked, strength and weight-bearing exercise were the only options for him.

"It is training that I like to do myself, plus the entertainment factor for the crowd is great," he said.

The strongman event will take place over two days, with two weight categories, under 105kg and over 105kg.

Slotemaker is also considering adding a third masters category for the over-40s.

To make sure participants can take part safely, there will be a fitness trial and familiarisation course held before the event.

Vortex Spas is the primary sponsor of the event, and managing director Andrew Pullen said there was a great connection between strength training and recuperation through hydrotherapy in a spa pool.

He said such competitions were fantastic spectator sports and they fitted in well with the traditional A&P Show competitions including axe-chopping and other feats of blokey strength.

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- The Nelson Mail

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