A woman from Neston has brought home the crown after representing the UK in an international bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas.

Nicola Cotrell, 37, first started on her fitness journey after she was involved in a car accident which left her with life changing injuries and Fibromyalgia from the age of 17.

After battling with symptoms of Fibromyalgia for five years, Nicola joined the gym to try and help relieve her symptoms.

She told the Globe: “I was told I was never going to be able to run again. So I began focusing on what my body would let me do which was lifting weights.”

“I really enjoyed how it made me feel,” she added.

When she began seeing results, she contacted a coach to express her interest in entering body building competitions and began prepping in September 2019.

Since then, Nicola has won numerous bodybuilding titles and qualified for the British finals in September 2020.

Wirral Globe:

She has since competed in the Natural Olympia competition in Las Vegas on November 11, the biggest bodybuilding competition in the world.

“I felt a bit nervous, as it's the biggest competition in the world, but most of all I was excited that I was getting the opportunity to represent my country and I wanted to do myself and the team proud,” she said.

Nicola, who won two categories and came second in a further two, said the feeling of winning was ‘phenomenal’.

“It was phenomenal. It was so well ran and to get the opportunity to meet so many athletes, hear what their drive was and to spend more time the UKDFBA Team was incredible.

“I had goosebumps before going on stage but as soon as I stepped on the to compete, I had the widest smile of my life.”

Nicola, who knew she wanted to be a bodybuilder as a child, said she felt overwhelmed after she heard that she had won the title.

Wirral Globe:

“To think that just one year ago I’d been watching the same competition from home during lockdown while writing ‘to compete at the Natural Olympia’ on my vision board as a lifetime goal was just unreal,” she said.

She added: “It was a bit overwhelming to be honest.”

Nicola has since begun training for next years competition and hopes to inspire other fitness fanatics in the community.

She said: “Everyone has a story behind the reason why they compete and I guess that made sense to me given my background.

“It's been a life changing experience and I've made friends for life throughout. I don't think the smile has left my face and it's fuelled me to get straight back into training for next years' competitions.

“I'd decided to share a lot of this prep with friends and family, with weekly progress updates and what's been involved since May, and the support I've had has been amazing.

“What's also been so lovely has been how many people have shared their own goals with me, which has been incredibly humbling as it can make us feel vulnerable to say what we want to really go for in life.

“We've got this little community now, particularly in The Zone Gym in Neston where we all encourage and inspire each other to pursue our dreams, whatever they are.”