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NABBA  HISTORY

1901: This year is the first of an organised bodybuilding contest in Europe when a  famous German Strongman, Eugene Sandow, judged an event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The event drew an attendance figure in excess of 2000.

1906: The Health & Strength League was formed on a wintry evening in December by a group of
enthusiasts who wished to pursue all aspects of physical culture. The league title was taken from
a fitness magazine of the same name - first published in 1894.

1930: The first MR & Miss Britain Title was held. This inaugural event caused a great upsurge in membership and 1936 alone 11398 new members enrolled. The organisation became Worldwide
and had a motto ´Sacred thy body even as thy soul´ inscribed on its membership badge. By 1943
the League had a staggering 191000 members.

1948: Health and Strength magazine organised the first MR Universe contest to commemorate the Olympic Games being held that year in London. Won by John Grimek, twice MR America winner who had previously represented the USA as a weight lifter at the 1936 Olympic Games.
 

1950: NABBA was formed. MR Universe was won that year by MR America Steve Reeves, who later went on to make more than thirty Hercules movies. The following year, when Reg Park won, one of the competitors was a young man from Canada, Joe Weider.

In the years that followed the top bodybuilders worldwide came to England to try and win the Universe title. Famous names like John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, all Americans, were part of a group which also included Reg Park, England and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria, a 4 times Universe winner. These 5 were the most influential winners who later became the legends of the Universe.

1955: The late OSCAR HEIDENSTAM was appointed full time secretary and became the main driving force in NABBA for more than thirty years.

1984:At a meeting in London NABBA International was formed and became host to the European, World and Universe Championships. This branch of NABBA is now supported by more than fifty countries.

PRESENT DAY: United Kingdom Structure: Ten elected area reps covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland comprise the NABBA council. Each area holds a qualifying event, which leads to the Annual MR & Miss Britain Finals - held at the Opera House, Blackpool. This in turn becomes a qualifier for the European and Universe Championships. The Universe contest gets stronger every year. At the last Universe events representatives from every country in Europe took part, plus athletes from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Philippines, Canada North and South America - a total of more than 200 competing athletes.

Hard work by the top officials and a volunteer force of members (at the Universe there are normally over fifty helpers), ensures that this progress continues.

1998 we celebrated fifty years of the NABBA Universe - a time span that has made the federation the oldest and most established in the history of bodybuilding. At a celebration dinner in Birmingham, England, several hundred people attended the greatest night in the history of NABBA. More than thirty former Universe Champions, men and women, were present, including NABBA legends Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Reg Park and Mickey Hargitay.

In spite of changing times NABBA remains a fresh, dynamic athlete-oriented organisation with a lot of future aspirations.

We believe that the dedicated, hard working athlete not only deserves professionally run competitions with qualified judges but also recognition, publicity and respekt.

We believe that the sport of bodybuilding is an ideal means for achieving total physical fitness and bodily perfection. It is a constructive force for developing discipline of the mind as well as of the body.

We believe that this discipline should find expression not only in good health habits and planned physical exercise, also we believe in clean living, good sportsmanship and in correct and friendly relationships between competitors, officials, and administrators.