Robbie Hazeley, vegan bodybuilder
False starts and troublesome tendons
Robbie suffered a number of tendon problems which included six operations in the early 1990s. The resulting arthritis forced him to use painkillers constantly and was a large obstacle to his goal of being successful in bodybuilding.
This was all to change on the influence of a vegan gym owner, who suggested he gave up meat. Within six weeks he was vegetarian, and vegan soon afterwards. The change was miraculous as it enabled Robbie to train hard for bodybuilding competitions without painkillers. He walks 30 miles regularly and has been successful in bodybuilding.
In 1994 he returned to his sport aged 39 and in 1997 placed 2nd in the Mr England competition, and 6th in the Mr UK competition, which he repeated for the following two years. Other highlights include 4th in Mr Great Britain 2002, and 2nd in 2004 Solent Open, which surprised a lot of onlookers who felt he should have won.
In 2005 he came second in Mr Britain and another second at the Solent Open. 2006 saw him finish second at the British Championships, and therefore qualified for Mr Universe, where he placed 10th. In 2007 he finished 7th at the World Championships and came first the Mr UK over 50s class. Next year he won Mr Britain over 50s. He took 6th in the World Championships.
In 2016 Robbie died of throat cancer. He had recently given up smoking but unfortunately it was too late. Read more here.
"I went vegan in 1989 and that was on health grounds. I started bodybuilding back in 1971 and was experiencing a number of health problems, especially with my knees. Going vegan made a lot of sense on paper and in practice was instrumental in improving my all round health, stamina, freedom from injuries and ability to train more intensely. It was the turning point for me in so many ways."