TONY Doherty believes the Ulumbarra Theatre is a world class facility and the perfect venue to host the Australian Country Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness competition.
Doherty, a former Bendigo man, has gone on to create what he describes as a â€˜gym empireâ€™ with Dohertyâ€™s Gym.
He is Country Classic event promoter and believes the event, which has been sanctioned by the International Federation of Bodybuilders, will attract about 100 male and female bodybuilders from across Australia.
â€œI have partnered up with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is our business partner in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic which we have in Melbourne every March and the Bendigo event is now a qualifier for that event,â€ Doherty said.
â€œIt is bringing an international flavour to Bendigo.
â€œIt is encouraging people to come from all across Australia to support the competition and it is also great for the economy.
â€œPeople will be staying in hotels and going to restaurants, which puts money back into my favourite town in the world, Bendigo.â€
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Peter Cox said the council was committed to attracting major events.
"This is an exciting event," he said. "It highlights the city's capacity to host a diverse range of national sporting events."
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Doherty said as well as bringing the premier bodybuilding competition to the city, he was also on a fitness crusade and is determined to make a change in regional areas.
â€œWe want to go into regional centres and give people an incentive and a reason to exercise and to give young people the opportunity to do something positive in their life,â€ he said.
â€œThere is a lot of problems in regional centres, with youth having nothing to do.
â€œWe are taking our Dohertyâ€™s gym brand and taking it all over the country, making it affordable and giving people some hope and some discipline in their lives.â€
The Australian Country Classic will be at the Ulumbarra Theatre on August 29.
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