Ambitious plans on for bodybuilding
--GABBF plabs to stage 2004 CAC c'ships By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
March 9, 2002

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Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manzoor Nadir, has pledged his ministry's support to the Guyana Amateur Bodybuilding Federation (GABBF) in its effort to host the 2004 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding Championships.

Speaking at the launching of the "Road to CAC 2004" championships at the Georgetown Club on Wednesday night, Nadir declared "I will throw the weight of my Ministry behind the championships, to tell the world Guyana is a paradise".

Nadir feels that the event is a significant one that will bring good returns to the economy. "For me it will showcase Guyana and change the concept of those outside of Guyana being a horrible place," the minister stated, adding "It will tell the world that Guyana is a real paradise".

The minister complimented the GABBF for winning the bid to host the championships and called on the corporate community to come forward and support the GABBF. He also complimented the federation for starting two years early. "For too long we have been accepting crisis management," Nadir stated.

Among those present at the launching were members of the corporate community, Guyana Olympic Association president K. Juman-Yassin and Director of Sports Neil Kumar among others.

In welcoming the invitees, GABBF president Yale Holder stated that for too long Guyanese have been hearing what they cannot do and not what they can do and the GABBF is out to change this concept.

According to Holder, Barbados hosted the championships on three occasions, but the GABBF will make the 2004 championships the most memorable.

Holder added that to host the championships $10 million is needed but his Federation hopes that with assistance from the tourism ministry as well as the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, that figure can come down to $6M.

A three-person team comprising Holder, Donald Sinclair and Jay Small has been identified to plan the championships.

Nadir who apologised for Minister of Sports Gail Teixeira's absence stated that bodybuilding is now a part of Guyanese culture and reminisced on his youthful days when he used to go to the seawall to witness body building contests.

Sinclair in highlighting some of the benefits in hosting the games, stated that pharmacies, hotels, banks and airlines are some of the businesses that will benefit. "That is what CAC is all about. All these entities will benefit," Sinclair stated.

According to the GABBF general secretary, over 330 competitors and officials are expected for the championships.

"For many years there was resistance in hosting these championships because it was troublesome to host, but this year we decided to take the risk, though it is a very challenging task. We in Guyana think we can't do it, it is too big a task, but we (GABBF) want to change that," Sinclair declared.

According to Sinclair, it is hoped that the Guyanese team will be the largest ever since the GABBF plans to field competitors in every division.