Nabba/Wff NZ are committed to ensuring that our athlete’s are treated with the upmost respect. With the majority of our committee members having competed at top level events, we understand and provide, what athlete’s should expect from organizations who they choose to compete with.
NABBA was formed in 1950 in the UK, NABBA is the first and original competitive bodybuilding association. The first Mr Universe competition was won by Steve Reeves (who went on to make more than 30 Hercules movies). Other famous bodybuilders who have won the Mr Universe title include Reg Park, Bill Pearl and Arnold Schwarzeneggar (four times winner). Australia’s first competitor in NABBA Mr Universe was Victor Vella, NSW in 1963.
In Australia the United Bodybuilding Association of Australia was formed in 1982 by Peter McCarthy. This led the way to its affiliation with NABBA in 1984. NABBA is now supported by more than 50 countries. Graeme Lancefield is both the current NABBA/WFF Australia President, NABBA International President and WFF International World President.
New Zealand came on board in 2011 to be run under the Australia umbrella and with the guidance of Graeme Lancefield. It started with the only two shows, Christchurch Grand Prix and then NZ Nationals. Since its first year it has grown in New Zealand, we now run 5 regional shows and our Nationals event. There was an existing NABBA in New Zealand but they spilt from NABBA International around 2006 and run events under NAC Germany. Any New Zealand athletes competing in NABBA NAC do not qualify for official NABBA Universe, Worlds or WFF International events.
WFF began in 1968 but in 1998 it became officially registered under the name World Fitness Federation. NABBA and WFF are separate organisations but are affiliated. This provides additional benefits for members and competitors. Each Federation seeks a different ‘look’. NABBA tends to cater for the more muscular physique and WFF favours a more athletic look. Both Federations attract a high level of male and female competitors at state, national and international level.
1901: This year is the first of an organized bodybuilding contest in Europe when a famous German Strongman, Eugene Sandow, judged an event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The event drew an attendance figure in excess of 2,000.
1906: The Health & Strength League was formed on a wintry evening in December by a group of enthusiasts who wished to pursue all aspects of physical culture. The league title was taken from a fitness magazine of the same name – first published in 1894.
1930: The first MR & Miss Britain Title was held. This inaugural event caused a great upsurge in membership and 1936 alone 11398 new members enrolled. The organisation became Worldwide and had a motto ´Sacred thy body even as thy soul´ inscribed on its membership badge. By 1943 the League had a staggering 191,000 members.
1948: Health and Strength magazine organized the first MR Universe contest to commemorate the Olympic Games being held that year in London. Won by John Grimek, twice MR America winner who had previously represented the USA as a weight lifter at the 1936 Olympic Games.
1950: NABBA was formed. MR Universe was won that year by MR America Steve Reeves, who later went on to make more than thirty Hercules movies. The following year, when Reg Park won, one of the competitors was a young man from Canada, Joe Weider.
In the years that followed the top bodybuilders worldwide came to England to try and win the Universe title. Famous names like John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, all Americans, were part of a group which also included Reg Park, England and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria, a 4 times Universe winner. These 5 were the most influential winners who later became the legends of the Universe.
1955: The late OSCAR HEIDENSTAM was appointed full time secretary and became the main driving force in NABBA for more than thirty years.
1984: At a meeting in London NABBA International was formed and became host to the European, World and Universe Championships. This branch of NABBA is now supported by more than fifty countries.
1998: We celebrated fifty years of the NABBA Universe – a time span that has made the federation the oldest and most established in the history of bodybuilding. At a celebration dinner in Birmingham, England, several hundred people attended the greatest night in the history of NABBA. More than thirty former Universe Champions, men and women, were present, including NABBA legends Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Reg Park and Mickey Hargitay.
2000: Nabba/Wff N.Z was established in New Zealand. It is the only Association in New Zealand Endorsed to send athletes to the NABBA & WFF World and Universe Events
Present day – NABBA Universe: The NABBA Universe contest gets stronger every year. Representatives from every country in Europe take part, plus athletes from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Philippines, Canada North and South America.