GABBF receives commitment from gov't
- CAC bodybuilding c/ships By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
April 30, 2004

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Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce, Manzoor Nadir (extreme left) delivering the feature address at Wednesday night's launch of the Guyana Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation's Fitness Expo at the Georgetown Club. Others in this Lawrence Fan

The Guyana Amateur Body-building Fitness Federation (GABBF) received Govern-ment's commitment of assistance in staging the 2004 Central American and Carib-bean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, slated for the National Cultur-al Centre from October 1 to 3.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the 2004 Fitness Expo held at the Georgetown Club on Wednesday evening, Director of Sports Neil Kumar assured GABBF's president Yale Holder and CAC's Committee Chairman Donald Sinclair, that the Guyana Government will lend its support to CAC 2004.

"I want Donald (Sinclair) and Yale (Holder) to know that Government will be supporting this activity. We've already spoken to the police with regard to security and I've spoken to President Jagdeo and Minister Teixeira, and I'm sure you'll get all you need," Kumar, who represented the National Sports Commission boldly stated.

According to Holder, the Government through the Ministry in 2002 pledged their financial contribution, assistance with immigration and security for athletes from the expected 38 participating countries from the airport to hotels and venue and assistance with waiver of airline ticket taxes for the 10 CAC executives expected to attend the championships.

Holder explained that the GABBF will be purchasing the tickets for the 10 CAC executives here in Guyana.

Kumar also issued a call for support from the corporate community and all Guyanese for the activity.

Holder in his address to the prospective exhibitors in attendance and members of the media said the CAC championships, grew from its infancy in 1972, where only eight countries participated to a more vibrant and larger 38-member contingent.

He pointed out that trade fairs have become an integral part of the CAC experience, so much so that athletes look forward to them to replenish, and even return with bodybuilding and fitness-related products to their countries, where, in some cases it may be difficult to acquire.

According to Holder, when the GABBF started planning for the 2004 championships in 2001, one of the association's main objectives was and still is to promote the ideology of health and fitness. "To create an environment which stimulates, tantalizes, and bedazzles, each person who would be participating in the CAC experience." Holder stated.

Holder said he is of the belief that one of the major impacts of this year's championships would be on the Guyanese women since they will see that women can be both fit and beautiful, and hopefully alleviate their fear that weight training is only for men.

"Imagine the environment, where you have the best 200 male and female bodybuilders and fitness athletes from 38 countries on the National Cultural Centre stage - on one hand and a vibrant Fitness Expo outside on the other," Holder stated adding;"There is a potential for a very electric environment. It would give the ordinary person a chance to find out about the products, the methods of training, the importance of the Internet in research and provides an opportunity to interact with some of the very athletes that they would see on stage."

According to Holder, the bodybuilding world is closely linked with the ever growing US$1B Health and Fitness Market and bodybuilders benefit from lucrative contracts to promote and sell products from different companies, "So much so, that this industry facilitates the lifestyles of many of the world top bodybuilders and fitness athletes. So closely linked are these two worlds that it's impossible to find any major event, like the CAC Championships without a coupling of a trade fair or fitness expo," Holder stated.

According to Holder, the overall CAC winner is given an opportunity to become part of this market when he receives his and her IFBB professional card as well as an invitation to compete in some of the most lucrative competitions on the professional level.

"This Fitness Expo adds to one of our other objectives, and that is to present the best organised CAC Championships," Holder declared adding "An electric and informative Fitness Expo adds to the whole aura of a massive sports-tourism event as those who "Come for the Champions; Be part of the adventure."

Sinclair gave an explanation on Fitness Expo stating that it is one component of the CAC championships.

He said Guyana has been participating in the CAC championships for a number of years and saw what other countries did to market their product and thought that when Guyana time comes to host the championships they (GABBF) will do what they can to top all others.

Sinlair said the first Fitness Expo in 2001 had lots of booths from various organisations, but this year there will be more, since plans are on stream to set up five boots on the lower flat of the national Cultural Centre and a further 15 on the upper level.

Sinclair added that a Fitness Expo is an exhibition of fashionable attire, a market for selling travel and a centre for selling communication.

According to Sinclair, this year's Expo will be the largest in Guyana since it will have the largest foreign contingent to any sporting activity in Guyana's history.

With regards marketing opportunities, Sinclair said those attending will be the persons who consume health and sports beverages, who buy and use sports and fitness equipment, who rely on internet communication, who buy and wear sports attire, who pay attention to food intake and who are a target market for tours.

Trade, Tourism and Industry Minister Manzoor Nadir complimented the organising committee for launching Fitness Expo so early.