BY JOHN E. USALIS

POTTSVILLE — Two competitions involving natural bodybuilders will take the stage Sunday, July 11, at the Ramada Inn.

The National Gym Association Inc., or NGA, is sponsoring the eighth Mr. Anthracite Natural Bodybuilding and Physique Championships and the fourth Mr. Coal Natural Championships in the ballroom of the hotel at 101 S. Progress Ave.

The competitions were started by NGA chairman the Rev. Warren I. Egebo, former pastor of Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hegins, and St. James Lutheran Church, Pitman. He is retired from the ministry and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but continues to organize natural, or drug-free, competitions in Schuylkill County. Ebego is happy to have the event return in full force for 2021, he said.

“Last year I had to postpone and then cancel altogether” because of the pandemic, Egebo said.

NGA did two shows in Philadelphia in 2019 and one there this year, and another this year in Green Bay, he said.

For the county show Sunday, the four categories are Men’s Bodybuilding, Master’s Men’s Bodybuilding (40+, 50+ age groups), Men’s Physique and Classic Physique.

Those who live, work or attend school in the five-county anthracite coal region (Schuylkill, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland and Carbon) are eligible for the Mr. Anthracite Natural show.

Mr. Coal Natural, which began in 2017, is open to all.

Admission is $10 for pre-judging at 2 p.m. and $15 for the finals at 5 p.m.

According to the event website, competitors will be tested and must meet eligibility criteria listed in the NGA drug testing guidelines. Competitors are also polygraph-tested before competing.

For more information, visit naturalphillybodybuilding.com or nationalgym.com.

Contact Egebo at klon@epix.net or 215-200-1680.

Contact the writer: jusalis@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6023