Hawke's Bay bodybuilder Bridget Hicks is the newly crowned Australian national novice fitness model.
Hicks, of Hastings, clinched the title in Sydney last Saturday on the heels of becoming the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding Federation Miss Queensland Fitness Model the previous Saturday in the Gold Coast.
The 27-year-old, who lives and works as a personal trainer in the Gold Coast with partner Adam Vernon, 32, of Hastings, had to settle for second overall in the national competition.
Jessica Johnson, who was runner-up to Hicks in the Queensland competition, scooped the overall national bragging rights of competitions run under the official umbrella of the ANB Federation.
"She looked amazing and was very deserving," the former Havelock North High School pupil said of Johnson. "The different judging panel worked more in her favour this weekend but I am very happy for her and grateful for my runner-up placing and first placing in the novice category."
Hicks said she had an amazing time and enjoyed every minute of it. It is her maiden year of competition after she entered the Queensland one on the encouragement of friends and fans.
Fellow Kiwi Karen Plum, formerly of Nelson but based in the Gold Coast, coached Hicks in the 17 weeks leading up to the two competitions.
"I am very proud of my efforts and am already excited about my next competition, which is not until end of May next year,"' Hicks said of the ANB Oceania to be staged in Brisbane on May 26.
Her business, BH Fitness, also offers online mentoring which entails everything from healthy eating tips to effective working out.
That means Hicks, whose parents Lisa and Mike live in Havelock North and watched her compete in the Gold Coast, won't enter the New Zealand ANB NZ International at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland this Saturday.
While Hicks will be visiting her family in January, she has no immediate plans to return here because the couple are doing so well in Australia.
Meanwhile Hawke's Bay's Sheryl Summers won two titles at the INBA Natural Universe Show in Auckland last weekend, taking out the women's 60-plus class title and the 60-plus physique title.
The show attracted more than 140 competitors from New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Hawke's Bay's Greg Mawson won the Mr Universe classic men's title.