This year’s Junior Mr. Sri Lanka Shamila Wijewickreme resembles a healthy model. In fact he says he is a fan of some of the best fitness models walking the ramp at international competitions. As a 20-year-old adult, Shamila possesses a pleasing physique, but behind that trim body there is both power and grace. He flexed his shapely muscles as he pumped up by lifting some dumbbells during a photo shoot done for the Nation. The guy exuded loads of confidence and showed he was enjoying every minute in front of the camera.
“Rugby is more popular in comparison, but I chose body building because it is more difficult. A body builder has to have a sound knowledge of not only exercises, but also about nutrition, water retention and body balance. I like to choose difficult things in life,” chuckled Shamila.
Shamila beat other equally well-muscled physiques at the Mr. Sri Lanka Body Building Championships held at Ananda College on December 13 (Sunday). Looking back he said, “I believe I won because I worked hard on the posing aspect of body building”.
He educated himself at Dharmaraja College Kandy and like most Rajans, tried his luck at rugby union. He visited the gym to do weight training to help his rugby. But the body building bug bit him fast and he had to say goodbye to the sport played with the oval shaped ball. “Rugby is more popular in comparison to the new sport I’ve chosen. I chose body building because it is more difficult. A body builder has to have a sound knowledge of not only exercises, but also about nutrition, water retention and body balance. I like to choose difficult things in life,” chuckled Shamila.
This muscleman said that body building is an expensive sport where a competitive athlete will have to spend close to Rs 3000 a day to obtain the required number of healthy meals. He said that during competition his daily diet comprises eat 30 egg whites, chicken breasts and protein shakes. “There is a limit you can build with normal food. If you wish to break through that barrier then you have to invest on supplements,” explained Shamila who added that he can reach international standard if he receives the backing of a sponsor.
He fondly remembered his body building gurus, Upul Nishantha and Herath from Kandy, Nihal Weerathunga who taught him posing, Susanga and Mothilal Jayatilake, who educated him on muscle balance. But the real motivating factor that fueled his spirits came from the help he received from his mother, father, elder sister and gym members who he said understood the struggle he was going through and helped him in his quest of building his body by lifting weights in the gym.
He said he loved body building, but added that he has an equal passion to try our fitness modelling and walk the ramp. “I watch with interest international fitness models like Lazar Angelo, Gerardo Gabriel and Simeon Panda,” said Shamila while hinting that this aspect of modelling could be where his future lies.
Shamila believes that this win will motivate other fitness enthusiasts to think of not just lifting weights, but to compete as well. He knows now that he is a role model for any junior who pumps iron in the gym. After all he has to live up to the reputation his gym friends have given him now, ‘the boy with a fabulous physique’.