A Royal Marine from Cramlington has made his mark in competitive bodybuilding.
Kristian Curtis has been training at a gym near his unit base in Devon for a number of months to improve his fitness.
He was then encouraged to enter the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation’s Welsh qualifier for the national championships that took place earlier this month.
And the 24-year-old impressed the judges so much that he won the overall title, as well as the novice class.
He said: “For bodybuilding competitions, you are constantly manipulating the body to get it in the right shape and diet and fitness are also very important, so being able to train regularly at a gym has been crucial in enabling me to give it a proper go.
“I didn’t really expect to so well at the Welsh event.
“I thought I had maybe done enough to finish second in my category, but not first, and being the overall winner was definitely a big surprise.
“It was great to see family members and people from the gym, including the owner, there to support me. I’m now looking forward to the national championships in October.
“The Royal Marines has been very supportive – for example, I was allowed to eat every two hours as that is a necessary part of the preparation for the competition.
“You try to make it work when you can, as in my situation you have to accept the possibility of being sent away and having to go back to bodybuilding the following year.”
Kristian grew up in Cramlington and joined the Royal Marines when he was 17.