FITNESS fanatic Paul Gibson is hoping to get the chance to become a model professional after catching the eye of a photographer during a national competition.
Paul, 23, travelled to Birmingham’s NEC to compete in the men’s physique class in the Body Power event.
Despite going up against 125 competitors from across the UK, Paul was ranked in the top 15 after beating off rivals in a host of categories.
And while he was disappointed not to earn a place in the top three in what was his first-ever competition, he was given a huge boost when Miami-based fashion photographer Luis Rafael approached him after the event and asked if he’d be interested in doing some modelling photography.
Paul, who teaches PE at St Bega’s Primary School on Hartlepool’s Headland, said: “I really enjoyed the event, it was the first time I’d ever entered a competition but I really got a taste for it and I’ll be looking for more competitions over the next few months.
“I got into fitness about four years ago, at first I wanted to get into shape and have a healthy lifestyle, but then I gradually got more involved in it.
“I didn’t expect to get into the top 15 with it being such a big competition, but I did well and kept getting into the next stage in the individual posing routines and then in the section where you were teamed up with someone and had to do the same type of pose to impress the judging team.
“I was pleased I did well because I put a lot of hard work into getting ready for the event, I had to stick to a strict diet in the build up to the competition and I’ve had a lot of support from my friends and family.”
Paul trains twice a day at Fitness Connexions in Brenda Road, splitting his time between cardio sessions and weights to try and stay in shape.
And he’ll be putting in that extra bit of effort now having been offered some modelling work.
Paul, who lives in Inglefield with partner Kayleigh Taylor, 24, added: “The photographer just approached me afterwards and said he would live to work with me doing some modelling, so that was a nice boost.
“He’s based in Miami, but he travels all over the place to events like this. He took all my details and said I can get into a studio later in the year and do some fashion shoots, so I’m really looking forward to it.”