IFBB, FISU Set to Develop Bodybuilding Into College Sport

Even though it might feel like the whole world is on pause right now, the IFBB is still planning for a future where bodybuilding is expanding.

The IFBB has been moving ahead with plans to broaden the appeal of bodybuilding as a sport and bring it to a wider audience. They recently partnered with the International University Sports Federation (FISU) to release a joint commitment to “develop the sport [further] together.” FISU shared the following update on their Twitter after the exciting news was released.

The announcement means that bodybuilding is now officially FISU-certified as a legitimate college sport. It might seem like an irrelevant title, since so many college students practice bodybuilding anyways, but it could go a long way to cultivating bodybuilding’s presence on college campuses, and that could lead to a whole generation of new bodybuilders who might not otherwise have encountered it.

It also seems like something of a late move for bodybuilding considering wrestling and similar sports have been longtime staples of the collegiate sport circuit and students are awarded scholarships and positions at prestigious schools due to these skills. This announcement could mean that somewhere, in the near or distant future, we could be looking at high school athlete bodybuilders getting scholarships to schools for bodybuilding and having access to all the resources that a college football or basketball player might have, for example.

The iFBB is eligible to be a representative of the sport of bodybuilding and integrate it at the collegiate level because it is affiliated with the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), which was involved in making the agreement happen. In the world of sports federations, it may sometimes seem like partnerships like these are all the same, but they’re actually instrumental in the doors they open for the sport to move forward. A broader cooperative effort to promote bodybuilding at the collegiate level is a huge deal for the sport. The more attention that is paid to a sport, the more money its athletes make. This incentivizes other people to join the industry and furthers growth. The popularity of bodybuilding exponentially furthers this growth in all directions since it draws people, and powerful competitors, to the sport.

There’s no telling what the future holds, especially during a global pandemic. But it does look like bodybuilding is about to experience at least a slight uptick in popularity, one that at best could really invigorate the sport and bring a lot of fresh blood into the community. Having college athletes take a serious interest in bodybuilding would be an impressive and necessary first step to catalyze that process. It would also do a lot to stop critics from attacking the legitimacy of the sport. Who knows, in time, bodybuilding could even be as popular as football. No one knows what the future holds, especially not now of all times.

*All images and media courtesy of Instagram.

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