Date of Birth: 16th May 1994
Where do you live? Knightsbridge, London
Star Sign: Taurus
Main occupation: Student at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK
HANNAH TABONE GRECH is a Maltese Bikini Fitness Athlete.
Hannah moved to the UK at the age of 11, where she attended Woldingham School Boarding School until the age of 16. Woldingham is a Sacred Heart School for Girls which was founded in 1842.
“It is an extremely active school, and girls take part in all sorts of activities from hockey to tennis to trampoline. The facilities were breathtaking, with a campus nestled in the English countryside with over 700 acres of land.
My passion for health and fitness therefore started to develop at a young age. Once I had completed my GCSE’s, I made the decision to change location. From the age of 16-18, I attended St Georges School Ascot, where I completed my A-levels in Psychology, Politics & Religious Studies. Whilst studying for my A-levels I still maintained a healthy lifestyle. I trained around three to four times a week and I also took part in cookery lessons to develop my culinary skills and nutritional knowledge.
My grandmother played an important role in my life and because of her Lebanese decent taught me how to cook healthily with a touch of taste, such as rice stuffed vine leaves, Baba Ganouj, and tabbouleh with grilled vegetables,” explained HANNAH TABONE GRECH in her introduction to this interview with Ramona Portelli.
After completing her A-levels, she decided to study for a degree in Business. However, after having studied business for two years, Hannah soon realised that it was not the path for her, even though she enjoyed it, she did not have the passion for it.
This brings us to the current year, 2014, when Hannah started taking her training and diet plan more seriously.
“In the month of May, I made the decision to enter for my very first bikini competition in London. Throughout the whole summer, I trained hard and my diet was on target. Fearless Academy (Gabriel Sey & Nyisha Jordan Sey) helped me with online coaching for my training plans and diet plans. In July, ten weeks out from MuscleMania Britain competition, I flew to the UK for posing lessons with Nyisha Jordan Sey Fitness Pro.
Then came my big decision. Just two weeks before I was to compete, I decided that the best place for me to be is in the UK. I stopped my current studies in Business and moved back to London to pursue my dream.
I am now currently studying for a BSc in Health, Exercise & Physical Activity at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, whilst training full time and building myself as a brand”, explained HANNAH TABONE GRECH.
You are a Bikini Fitness Athlete. What does this sports entail exactly?
Bikini is a category within bodybuilding competitions. Different federations require slightly different physiques for bikini. A bikini fitness athlete is considered to be very well-toned and lean. There are many different federations around the world. MuscleMania Britain has two rounds for the Bikini category. One for bikini and one for a sports theme wear round, in which I choose boxing. Not all federations have two rounds for bikini, all differ slightly, so you adapt to the competition and the federation running it.
When was it that you decided to leave Malta, and why such decision?
I left Malta at the age of eleven, this decision was taken by my mother, Sara Grech. She made a very tough decision to send all her three children to boarding school from a very young age. This decision was made in order to help us succeed in the future. My mother believes that academics is not sufficient to achieve success and her choices of the boarding schools we went to were specifically chosen for being the top in academic results, however also the top in preparing the students to have excellent social skills.
I have never regretted leaving Malta for schooling in the UK, it helped me grow into the determined and disciplined person I am today. It has also given me that sense of confidence and independence from a very young age. I look up to my mum, she is my role model, my inspiration, she is my-everything, as I am to her, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her never ending love and support.
A few weeks ago, you obtained second place in the first ever show MuscleMania Britian 2014. In fact, you wowed the crowd with your physique, grace and style. When was this show, what did it entail, and what are your comments about your great achievement?
MuscleMania Britain took place on Saturday 13th September, 2014 at the Shaw Theatre in Central London. Plenty of hard work and thought goes into the preparation for a show, from hair, make-up, tanning, shoes, bikini, theme wear, jewellery, posing practice to the most important aspect of getting prepared physically with a special diet and a tremendous amount of time dedicated to training.
I spent the last two months, prior to the event, planning to make sure that everything was spot on for the ‘show day’. After all I had put into this, my dedication and persistence paid off. I was absolutely amazed with the results, seeing everything come together after weeks of planning was truly an amazing experience. I had never done anything like it before. I have never competed on stage, this was actually my first time, and hearing the crowd shout out your number gave me shivers down my spine. I knew no one in the crowd except my immediate family. I must say, it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever encountered and I am eager to step on stage again.
Do you train on a daily basis? What kind of training would that be?
Yes, whilst in competition preparation, I do train on a daily basis, doing both cardio and strength training. However, when I am not on competition preparation, I do not use cardio machines and I stick purely to weights in order to gain as much mass as possible. I merge cardio into my training in order to keep lean and have a low body fat percentage. To the contrary of what people say, weighting training does not result in looking ‘manly’ but in contrast, it results in a toned physique. I believe that a good mix of training is important not only to maintain good shape, but for our general well-being whilst giving you the feel good factor.
Are you taking part in any other shows?
Yes, on 23rd November, I am competing with Miami Pro UK in Wimbledon. I started my eight week competition preparation. Also, in less than four weeks’ time, I am scheduled for a photo shoot with Rebecca Andrews, who has also been the photographer for Andreia Brazier (Three time WBFF World Champion), who is a great inspiration. After the show in November, I will take time off in order to work on my physique, so that in 2015 I can hopefully compete with one of the world’s best federations, WBFF in the United States.
What is it that you cannot live without?
Throughout the journey of my competition preparation I have learnt a great deal. Even though I am still very young, my priority is to work on my physique and gain as much knowledge about the industry as possible. I am keen to learn and to get involved. I will take on as much as possible, from competitions all around the world to being a brand ambassador for fitness apparel companies. That being said, a few days ago, I became a proud brand ambassador for a new UK based company called Le Monsieur.
I believe that in life you need to make do with what you have in order to gain more. It is very important to keep positive and stay motivated in order for your dreams to become a reality. If I set myself a goal, then I know I am going to pursue it, giving it my all, because at the end of the day, I am competing against myself and nobody else. I strive to be the best for myself and no one else. What I presented at MuscleMania Britain 2014 is just the beginning of what is yet to come!