The largest multi-sport Festival and Trade Expo South Africa has ever seen, is set to hit our shores in May next year. The Arnold Classic is named after well-known body builder and actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger who orchestrated the inaugural event 27 years ago in Columbus Ohio, together with business partner, Jim Lorimer. 

Arnold sports festivals are now held annually in the USA, Europe, Australia and Brazil with the aim of promoting the different sports codes to the youth and in 2016 the event will launch in Johannesburg, South Africa and Hong Kong as well. Almost the entire Sandton Convention Centre will be occupied by some 30,000 attendees; including coaches, families and supporters and 10,000 athletes of which at least 5,000 are expected to be youth athletes.

This massive event which will have representation across a wide range of sporting codes from Archery to Gymnastics and Table Tennis, from Martial Arts to Power Lifting and everything in between. It will incorporate a health and fitness trade expo with around 300 stands and local sporting codes will hold demonstrations and / or Regional/National championships as part of the event, giving local athletes the opportunity to compete with their international counterparts on home ground.

INHOUSE Venue Technical Management (IVTM); the Sandton Convention Centre’s in-house technical supplier and sister company to Gearhouse South Africa (Pty) Ltd has been contracted to supply the event’s technical and staging requirements and are working closely with the Organisers Michelle and Wayne Price and Sandton Convention Centre to establish the scope and specificity of each area.

IVTM’s Projects & Development Manager at the Sandton Convention Centre, Graeme Marshall travelled to Ohio to see the Arnold Classic in March 2015. “I went together with a couple of the Sandton Convention Centre representatives and the SA event organisers and despite numerous discussions prior to the trip, I don’t believe any of us fully realised the magnitude and scope of the event until we actually saw it unfolding at the 9 venues, the main one being the massive Columbus Convention Centre. It was a sporting extravanza!”

Impressive as the event itself was, Graeme was equally bowled over by the extent of the Arnold following.

“Until then, I had no idea of the size of the Arnold brand. His love of children and his absolute passion for getting them interested in sport is admirable - the kids surround him wherever he goes. I have no doubt it will be exactly the same in South Africa next year and I think with the South African love of sport, this is going to be a tremendously successful event.” 

IVTM and Gearhouse will provide all areas with staging, PA, Lighting, Set, Rigging and Power as required.

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Story by Robyn D’Alessandro

Aug 25, 2015

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