Festival puts emphasis on physical fitness


Festival puts emphasis on physical fitness

May 15, 2007 4:15 PM

By Jack Kelly Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If you like fast action (either to watch or participate); good-looking women and men; fitness tips for you, and wholesome activities for the kids, you should make your way to the Expo Mart in Monroeville May 25-26 for the fourth annual Pittsburgh Sports & Fitness Festival.

“It really is a festival atmosphere,” said Bill Viola. “There are usually three or four great events going on at one time. I’ve never had anyone who was bored.”

More than 10,000 people attended last year’s festival, 1,000 as competitors, Mr. Viola said.

A nationally known martial arts expert and fitness promoter based in Irwin, Mr. Viola is president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corporation, the organizer of the festival.

“Kumite” is a Japanese word meaning “preparation for competition.” The Sports and Fitness Festival grew out of a martial arts competition Mr. Viola sponsored, and martial arts events dominate the schedule. There’ll be competitions in karate, jujitsu, boxing and wrestling, for novices to black belts, children to seniors. Also planned:

Several beauty contests, including a Miss Bikini America Figure Pageant (first-time contestants welcomed); a Model America Pageant; a Fittest Couple contest, and a “Show Me Your ‘Six-Pack’ Abs” contest.

A Strongman competition and a power lifting competition.

A youth physical fitness competition, sponsored by the U.S. Marines, in which kids 17 and under will compete in doing pushups, situps, chin ups and jumping rope.

An obstacle course for young people sponsored by the U.S. Army.

A mini slam-dunk contest for elementary and middle school students.

An aerobics class offered every hour, and each hour a class will be taught in ballroom dancing.

A consumer health and fitness expo, slated to have more than 100 exhibitors, with information on — and sometimes samples of — cosmetics, chiropractic care, fitness gear, and nutritional supplements.

The festival will be held Friday, May 25, from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday. Unless you are a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine on active duty. For you, admission is free.

“We should honor our military on Memorial Day,” Mr. Viola said.

For more information on the schedule of events and how you might register for competitions, visit Mr. Viola’s Web site at www.pghfitness.com.

Jack Kelly can be reached at jkelly@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1476


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