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    Sandton Convention Centre to host SA’s first Arnold sports festival

    The inaugural Arnold Classic South Africa sports festival will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 27 to 29 May 2016 featuring more than 42 sporting codes. It is expected to attract at least 10 000 South African and international athletes and many more visitors and support staff, and will be attended by legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, after whom the event is named.


    The Arnold Classic was launched 27 years ago in Ohio, USA, by Schwarzenegger and his partner Jim Lorimer, called ‘the architect’ of the Arnold Classic. It features a wide range of sporting codes ranging from strongman and bodybuilding events, to martial arts, dancing, chess, table tennis, softball, baseball, cycling, aerobics, and many others. Arnold sports festivals now take place annually in the USA, Europe, Australia, Brazil and next year will launch in South Africa and Malaysia.

    The event in South Africa is organised by Wayne and Michelle Price, both active in South African bodybuilding and in the International Federation of Bodybuilding South Africa, of which Wayne is National Executive President. Explains Michelle, “We were competing in an Arnold Classic in the USA some years ago when we heard Arnold say he was on a ‘fitness crusade’ and wanted to take the Arnold Classic to every continent. We started negotiations with Arnold and Jim three years ago and are delighted to now be bringing the first Arnold Classic to South Africa.”

    Michelle says that the long history of the event as well as the strong backing from the Arnold Classic partners in the USA augurs well for a highly successful festival in South Africa. “The event is renowned in the international sports arena and the Arnold festival in the USA in March this year attracted 240 000 visitors, of which about 24 000 were athletes. An added attraction for the South African event includes the offer to local sporting codes to use the event as a platform for their regional or national championships – “already we have had excellent response to this offer,” adds Michelle. The event will also feature a health and fitness trade expo with about 300 stands.

    The Sandton Convention Centre is the ideal venue for this event, says Michelle. “The SCC’s location is perfect as it is close to the Gautrain station; there is ample accommodation and parking in the area; as well as a wide selection of restaurants and other entertainment options.

    “We attended the Arnold Classic in Ohio in early March along with representatives from the SCC to gain a clearer understanding of the requirements of this exciting event and how best to adapt it for our South African environment. We will be using all the Convention Centre’s in-house services and facilities, including catering and the sound stage, and we believe the team is more than qualified to deliver on all our expectations,” states Michelle.

    For more information visit www.arnoldclassicafrica.com. For more information on Sandton Convention Centre, log on to www.saconvention.co.za, join the Facebook page on http://www.facebook.com/SandtonConventionCentre or follow on Twitter at @SandtonEvents.

     

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