Harold Kelley believes the sport of bodybuilding has made big strides in the Pro Wheelchair division… and that there is much more that can still improve.

Pro Wheelchair bodybuilding has been in existence for just over a decade now. Since then it has made its way to being present at the Arnold Classic and the Mr. Olympia weekend. Just this year, it introduced its first female pro wheelchair athlete. The growth and exposure of this division has celebrated throughout the years.

But there is also further room for improvement. The division is still relatively small compared to other divisions in the sport. And with only one pro wheelchair woman’s bodybuilder – there is a need for more so that she can compete against her piers. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, reigning Pro Wheelchair Olympia champ Harold Kelley details the improvements he would like to see in the division.

During our conversation with Harold Kelley after his latest Olympia win, we got on the topic of the future for the Pro Wheelchair bodybuilding division. Specifically, we asked him what kinds of improvements he would like to see for the division.

Harold Kelley is the first to acknowledge how far the division has come over the past ten years. But he also holds nothing back in detailing the big improvements that can still come. Most of this comes down to exposure and monetary growth. The current reality for most Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilders is that they need to keep a full time job. This is even true for the champions such as Harold Kelley. He owns a car shop and barely has any downtime between his day job and prepping for bodybuilding.

Increasing exposure and building a bigger audience and athlete base are key to bringing in more monetary gain. This can eventually transform the division into a sport that has career bodybuilders. Athletes who do not have to split their time between being a pro athlete and holding a day job.

“So let me ask you this question: why would it make sense not to – these big corporations – donate more funds towards this group and they’re not,” Harold Kelley states in our interview. He continues:

“Why aren’t these big names, the big promoters, putting or allocating the funds, you know, non-profit organizations, why are the not writing those checks to these guys so that we are able to do this and to be inspiring. They’re not. We’re here but it feels like we’re not here.”

While having the level of growth in Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilding is better than nothing at all – this doesn’t stop athletes like Harold Kelley from wanting more. “Inspiration” is a word thrown around a lot when it comes to Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilding. Harold Kelley thinks they can be even more inspiring if given the foundation to grow and reach more people.

“We love bodybuilding and that’s what we are doing as a passion. But at the same time, it costs,” Harold Kelley further states.

It’s a push vs pull that can be challenging and frustrating for Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilders. And as with many things in this world, it will change slow rather than fast. That’s why champions like Harold Kelley try his best to use his platform to spread awareness. He hopes that it can be a springboard to bigger growth sooner rather than later.

You can watch Harold Kelley detail how he wants to see Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilding improve in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

The GI Team is here to provide top news and original content for the new generation. The generation of bodybuilders who are pushing the sport to bigger and better places. Join The Movement. Become a part of Generation Iron!