A BODYBUILDER from Keighley dominated the field in South Yorkshire, with her success there leading to an opportunity on the national stage.

Rebecca Mitchell, 48, took part in the regional International Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (IBFA) Doncaster show earlier this month, with the event acting as a qualifier for the finals in Newcastle next June.

She placed third in the Ladies' Athletic Class, but was the standout performer in Masters Over-40s Athletic Class, winning that event.

Taking us back to the start, Mitchell said: "I did my first two bodybuilding events in 2017, but then took a year out to improve.

"I've got different coaches now to help me reach my goals. Last October, I started my improvement/off season. I eat clean food, lots of it, alongside doing heavy lifting and gym training.

"Then, about three months before the competition, I start to diet, with the hope being that I lose body fat but still retain muscle.

"It's a long process and it's actually quite mind-bending, as you're quite big for a while, and it's only when you diet that you start to see the changes.

"It can get quite extreme and it's harder for some more than others. Mine was a breeze really, and I quite like the preparation as it teaches discipline."

That discipline served Mitchell well in Doncaster, as she swept to Over 40s success. Talking about how the competition works, she said: "Obviously, you start off with your tan and sports bikini.

"Then you walk out and face the judges, and do quarter turns as standard. There are four of these.

"You're sent off, before coming back for comparison with the other competitors. You get called out to step forward and if you're chosen first, usually you'll know that you've at least placed.

"You'll also be asked to do your best front, back and side poses. You have to do 60 seconds of posing and dancing and then return to see what the judges make of your chances.

"My class is for those with quite low body fat and more muscle, but every federation has different criteria, and it does depend what the judges are looking for on the day.

"There are about six or seven competitors in each class and the judges must have felt I had the best Over 40s package that day."

Mitchell added: "It was the first year of the Doncaster show and it was a long day, as there were lots of men's classes too.

"But winning meant I was invited to to the British finals in Newcastle next June and I'm featured on the poster for next year's Doncaster show too."