World Cup muscle coming to BIM

Barbados has never had it so good. There is World Cup cricket in June, and now there is World Cup bodybuilding and fitness in May.

Yesterday, contest promoter, Roger Boyce, confirmed his organisation, Erin Promotions, was partnering with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the National Sports Council to stage the World Cup of bodybuilding and fitness from May 9-12 at the Garfield Sobers Complex of the Gymnasium.

Never before has the Caribbean hosted a bodybuilding and fitness championship of this magnitude and according to BTMI’s manager, sport, Kamal Springer, visitor spend, could exceed $200 000.

There are two events. The Roger Boyce Classic, an amateur contest will be  held in the morning, and will be followed in the evening (5:30) by the World Cup which will attract about 150 competitors.

 Speaking at a press conference held at the BTMI Warrens Complex, Boyce said Barbados was given the green light at the World Congress of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) held in Santa Susanna, Barcelona, Spain, last November.

“We have never had anything like this before. This is massive. If you had asked me six years ago, if today we would be at this standard, the answer may be no. We have been working hard in Barbados and did not know the world was watching us. We ended up being in Spain last year and realised how important what we were doing here was for the sport,” said Boyce, who came to the fore as a promoter in 2008 with the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic.

“I left for Spain expecting to get two or three categories, but to end up being given the chance to host a World Cup, is big for me, is really big for me. This is certainly the biggest undertaking for me as a promoter so we are counting on media houses to help us market this event,” he added.

Boyce said that Erin Promotions was delighted to have both BTMI and the Sports Council on board.

“Usually, we would get a contribution from BTMI but this year, it is a partnership and I am happy that for the first time, we are having both entities.

“This event could not reach where it is without the support of these entities, both from a marketing perspective and also in terms of guidance. Sabrina Worrell-Wood (NSC) played a very important part in helping us see the big picture.

“For example, this is the first time in years that we have any of our officials attending the world congress. Sabrina queried why we were thinking of not going and from going, is where we met all of the officials,” he said.

Springer said there will be major benefits tourism benefits.

“Based on the research and data we have had over the last few years, we are able to identify the average spend across various years and trends recently in various markets. Once we have an idea of the number of athletes coming from various markets, we are able to apply that average spend per day and have worked it out at about $200 000,” he said.

Director of the National Sports Council, Neil Murrell, said the Roger Boyce Classic and World Cup has a tremendous value added component for the Sports Council and Barbados.

“The National Sports Council is pleased with the efforts of the Roger Boyce Classic, it is pleased with the efforts
of bodybuilding in general and therefore the support we will give them is richly and justly rewarded.

”We are happy with the overall partnership with BTMI and we trust that this partnership will grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years,’’ Murrell said.

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