Damian Daniel gets his pro card in Mexico

The Bodybuilding Federation of Grenada is seeking the assistance of corporate Grenada to help support Damian Daniel who has become a professional competitor following his win last week at a major event in Mexico.

IFBB Pro Elite Damian Daniel and fifth place Linton James with Cecil Mitchell and NLA GM, Jeffrey Gilbert

Daniel will be taking part in his first pro-competition in Spain later this this year as a result of being the overall winner of the just-ended 45th Edition of the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Body Building Championship.

Coordinator of the Body Building Federation of Grenada, Cecil Mitchell told reporters at a press conference held at the Ministerial Complex last week that the private sector and corporate Grenada need to come on board to help Daniel compete in the big league.

Mitchell said that the island has been invited to many high calibre overseas shows and the top local bodybuilder would have to be in tip top shape to face the competition.

“…For Damian to get up to that standard, we would need a lot of support because the budget we have been working with that will have to be tripled”, he said.

“He is up there with the big guns now, he is no longer a Caribbean athlete but now he is a world class athlete. He will be competing with the likes of China, Asia, Europe and the bigger countries, it’s no longer just the Caribbean but now we want him to continue taking us (to) higher heights, we would definitely need Grenada to stand with us”, he added.

Daniel who was looking forward to compete in Spain made a pitch for corporate Grenada to give him as much support as possible.

He said, “I have been invited to a lot of major competitions and … really I need that support starting from now. So, I am asking you all to please come on board (to give) support so that the flag again can be flown, national anthem would be sung and to all the younger athletes that have the talent…when you support me, you also help Grenada.

“I’m really hoping that corporate Grenada can really come on board right now so that I can start to prepare because these competitions as Mr. Mitchell rightly said, you’re talking about world class athletes…from Germany, Europe, China, Japan – they have coaches, they have supplementation, they have the sponsors. So, I definitely would need corporate Grenada to come on board because once I have this help, (I am) definitely going out there to give it my 100%.”

Daniel along with Linton Jones travelled to Mexico last week to represent Grenada in the 45th Edition of the Central America and Caribbean Body Building Championship which resulted in Daniel being awarded the overall champion of the competition with the title.

Jones placed 5th fifth overall, out of 200 participants from 34 countries.

Mitchell, who served as the Chaperone for the athletes, said that he was proud to see Daniel emerge victorious over the other competitors who started with an advantage over him.

“Last competition, he was the heavyweight champion, this year was a bit difficult for him because they merged the heavyweight and the super heavyweight. So, the (other) guys were a lot bigger, they were a lot more muscular but he still dominated and he won overall. Secondly, there was the final competition where they chose him as the overall winner. I am talking about a competition where these guys have a lot more facilities to work with, they have a lot more support, they have a lot more supplements, they have a lot more gyms, they have cheaper foods,” he said.

Daniel stressed that his strategy was just to train harder than normal for the competition.

He said: “Once I have an idea… like athletes have more supplementation, they have better gyms and they have coaches, I know for myself I have to train even harder, so I leave no stone unturned. So, I don’t make no excuses, I am going out there every day and I am training harder. Once you give it your 100%, you will always be on top”.

Jones also spoke of his pride and joy in his relatively high placing in the competition.

“It was a very good experience for me. I must say coming fifth overall in a competition on an international level and the category that I competed in, I was very surprised but I went there with the intention to get first call out … and I did and I must say that that was very commendable on my part because I know that I have trained hard,” he said.

He was pleased that the two local athletes were able to do a commendable job for the Spice Isle.

“The competition meant a lot for both athletes but I just want to say it’s not about the athletes because a win for Damian Daniel and a fifth place final overall is a win for Grenada. Now Grenada is being recognised more on an international level. In Mexico, where you have over 34 countries, taking part in a competition like that and some people just getting to know the small rock which is Grenada and that’s a very good mileage for Grenada when you speak of tourism.

“Now people want to come to Grenada because they found out one, it’s a small island, two, the friendly people …and three the colours of the flag and the national anthem. Support from government and private sector…once the support is there, I believe that Grenada will be a force to be reckoned with.

The state-owned Grenada National Lotteries Authority (NLA) has been in support of the Body Building Federation for a number of years.

General Manager of the authority, Jeffrey Gilbert pointed out that in order for there to be continued support, the games of NLA must be patronised by the general public.

“We are extremely proud and delighted to once again support team Grenada (as) another championship trophy was brought home. Prior to this competition, we did support the 44th event and Damian and team Grenada did well then.

“It is part of our mandate to support sports and we can only do this if we the viewing public and the whole of Grenada continue to support the gains of the NLA. The gains earned from sales go directly into the development of sports and sporting programmes. So, whenever our athletes, our sportsmen and women go out and they do very, very well and the NLA is involved, it gives the board of directors and the management of the NLA extreme pleasure.

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