It started simply enough. The teenage Valentine wanted to be fit, so while in PUC, he started working out. But the simple routine developed into a passion the he continues to pursue and wins accolades for on a global level.
Meet Valentine D’Souza, City Crime Branch ACP in Mangaluru and also a body builder who has represented India at multiple national and international forums. Most recently, he won the ‘best poser’ title in the 50+ age group at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association’s (INBA) competition held in Las Vegas from November 9 to 12.
INBA is a US-based body accredited by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and tries to promote natural body building where the candidate does not consume pills, stimulants and such.
“I’m really happy about this,” the elated 52-year-old tells TNM. “All my hard work and training has paid off.”
Valentine D' Souza on the far right
While he was younger, Valentine avidly participated in bodybuilding competitions at the state as well as national levels. He proudly recounts some of his achievements – winning the fold at Mysore University for three consecutive years from 1987-89, Open State Gold Medal, again for three years straight from 1988-90 and the All India level-Junior Mr India title in 1991, to name a few.
But once Valentine joined the police force in 1994 after training at the Mysuru Police Academy, he stopped pursuing body-building; although he did continue with his usual workouts to remain healthy.
He served in various places like Udupi, Kota and Honnavar. After being promoted as inspector in 2002, Valentine served at various police stations including Coastal Security Police, Bantwal, District Crime and Intelligence Bureau (DCIB) Chikmagalur, Kundapur, Karkala and Panambur stations.
It was in 2013 – after a gap of two decades – that Valentine took up bodybuilding again after being appointed as city crime branch (CCB) inspector in Mangaluru. The major reason, he tells TNM, was to be healthy and fit to head the CCB.
“Sometimes my schedule is such that I am unable to fix a routine for my training. But I try to put in two hours of training on a day to day basis,” he says. Valentine does jogging, cross-training as well as weights and when he is preparing for competitions, a strict diet adds to the even more intensive workout regime.
Ask him how he avoids eating junk with odd hours and hectic schedules, he laughs and says, “It’s simple. I have been doing this for years so it’s just in my habit to not eat unhealthy.”
What also inspires Valentine is when he goes to competitions, he sees people even older than him sporting healthy bodies and working hard to maintain their health and physique. “I want to continue doing this. I need to be healthy. I wear the uniform, so it is my duty to be fit to do my work,” he maintains.
Apart from being awarded at the Las Vegas competition, Valentine has also represented India at the Philippine-Asia International Bodybuilding Championships held in 2014 at Cebu, Philippines.
He has also received a number of awards like President’s Police Medal for outstanding service on Republic Day this year, the Chief Minister’s Gold Medal in 2009 and the Udupi district Rajyotsava Award in 2008.