#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#WHEN the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation hosts the 43rd Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships, there will be a change in the date and the venue.
#Instead of being staged October 1-4 at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, the championships are scheduled for September 24-27 at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.
#Former professional bodybuilder Joel Stubbs, who is now serving as the new president of the federation, said the changes were necessary because of a conflict with the dates booked at Melia as a result of postponement of the opening of Baha Mar and the fact that Atlantis was more accessible with the new dates that are now set.
#“We were disappointed when we heard that the dates were not available to us because we had already brought in the president of the CAC for a site inspection at Melia and everything was confirmed,” Stubbs said. “But after they informed us that we had to change the dates because they had some other commitments at the hotel due to the postponement of Baha Mar, we had to change the venue.
#“As a result of the change in venue to Atlantis, Stubbs said they had to move the championships up by one week so that we can be accommodated by Atlantis. With the change in date and venue, we have gotten some very good rates for the athletes and the spectators who are expected to come to the championships.”
#Stubbs, the second Bahamian to earn his pro card at the CAC Championships in 2003, said their only concern would be for those spectators who might have already made their travel arrangements after they made the original announcement of the event in October.
#“We know that the majority of the countries have not selected their teams because their national championships are not held as early as they are held here,” said Stubbs, a perennial heavyweight champion since he started competing in 1996.
#“So making an adjustment one week ahead of time to compete so to not have an effect on the athletes.”
#More than 400 athletes from 41 countries are expected to participate in the championships. He noted that the Bahamas will be ready to welcome them and is anticipating a great show for the title.
#“The good thing about the CAC Championships is that the overall winners will be awarded their pro cards,” said Stubbs, who followed Charles Kemp and preceded Gena Mackey, Natasha Brown, James ‘Jay’ Darling and Dominique Wilkinson as the only pro bodybuilders.
#“We expect that a lot of the bodybuilders will be coming here to compete in the championships because they are looking forward to earning their pro card. We expect that the competition will be very competitive because we also know that everybody wants to compete in the Bahamas.”
#When the Bahamas last hosted the championships in 2008 at the Rain Forest Theatre in the Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino, the Bahamas won the overall title by dethroning Barbados. This will mark the sixth time that the championships are held in the Bahamas. The Bahamas has also won the overall title eight times.
#“We have not finalised our team as yet, but we expect to have a very good team at the championships,” Stubbs said. “We have a lot of competitors who have been working very hard getting prepared for the championships. So we expect that the Bahamas will have a very strong team to compete.”