Bodybuilder Nick Barbour honoured during competition
For five months, Nick Barbour and his partner, Jessyka Melo, were training every day in preparation for their first bodybuilding competition together.
Barbour, a keen bodybuilder and personal trainer, was training Melo for the Top of the South Classic bodybuilding competition. He also planned her diet and prepared her meals.
That changed last month when the 33-year-old Christchurch father-of-three was killed when his motorcycle hit a pole at an intersection in St Albans, Christchurch.
Melo travelled to Nelson with friends to compete in the competition at the Theatre Royal and honour Barbour, who was the 2016 overall champion.
She said the past month had been very difficult, but she had carried on with her training to keep herself busy.
"This sport has helped me a lot.
"If I was not doing this competition it would be very difficult."
The crash happened close to Barbour's home and Melo said she was still struggling to comprehend the loss.
On Saturday, she got up onstage for the first time to honour her late partner in the WFF CLass 5 – Ms Bikini category.
Melo and Barbour met at City Fitness on Moorhouse Ave, where Barbour worked, and had been together for seven months. They trained together every day in preparation for the competition.
Brazilian-born Melo said she was nervous when the day began and completely forgot her routine when she got onstage.
It was the first time Melo had competed in a bodybuilding competition and she said Barbour would have been proud of her performance.
"I'm very proud to be here as well, it's keeping my spirits up, I have a focus every day.
"He was an amazing person, a good friend and a good partner."
Fellow bodybuilder and friend Sarah Ward attended the event in Barbour's honour and to support Melo.
"We were both backstage and we both said at the same time, we've got goosebumps.
"As far as we are both concerned, he is here with us."
Ward is a South Island International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) competitor and said Barbour had been an inspiration in her bodybuilding career. She intended to take the sport to a professional level.
"He always had my back in my bodybuilding and he was just an incredible person."
She said the competition was another step in the process of coming to terms with his death.
"There is a memory of him here and I think he would like that, because this was his life-changing event."