Shirley Barakuta [middle]
Fiji-born New Zealand bodybuilder Shirley Barakuta is ready to take on the bodybuilding world.
The Air Force Logistics Officer took up the sport just a year ago and recently scooped the first prize in the Ms. Fitness category at the ICompete Natural New Zealand Armed Forces and Emergency Services bodybuilding competition.
Never in her wildest dream did the Vatulele lass see herself taking part in any sport.
She says she was inspired after attending a bodybuilding competition.
“I saw this Pasifika lady, she was on stage and was so confident standing in heels in a bikini and I was thinking to myself I can do that. That was late last year that I saw that.”
This past year, she has had to learn to fight the demons within her.
“My biggest challenge was myself. I was putting a lot of those barriers without realizing that, without trying I had put up these barriers. Bodybuilding has definitely given me the opportunity to find my self-confidence and push through a lot of things that I thought weren’t possible.”
Barakuta wants to venture out and take part in other bodybuilding competitions both locally and abroad.