June 23, 2011
The Commonwealth Games Federation Evaluation Commission has completed its visit to the Gold Coast in Australia, impressed with the plans of the 2018 bid city.
The Gold Coast is in a two-city battle to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with Hambantota in Sri Lanka also out to win the support of the 71 Commonwealth countries who will determine the winner in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 this year.
The CGF Evaluation Commission, lead by Scotland’s Louise Martin, has spent four days on the Gold Coast, meeting with the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, Gold Coast Mayor, Ron Clark, as well as representatives from Federal, State and local governments, the bid team and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.
Martin is well versed in the bidding process, having successfully chaired Glasgow’s campaign to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“The foundations to a great Games are laid in the Gold Coast plans, which are now being locked down by the governments, the bid team and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association,” Martin said.
“Over all, we can tell you that the proposition of staging the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast is an exciting one and appears, based on our initial analysis, to be sound.
“Not only does it appear that the basic infrastructure requirements can be met, it also seems that in meeting these Games requirements important legacies can be generated for the city and region.
“These legacies will include improved community infrastructure, improved transport, an acceleration of important economic drivers such as the Knowledge Precinct and other social programs.
“Having been here and experienced four glorious days, we understand well why the Gold Coast is one of Australia's tourist capitals.
“The international audience and focus that the Commonwealth Games will bring to the Gold Coast should it be the successful bid city, will further enhance the international standing and image of the Gold Coast and assist to promote it as one of the world's great destinations. So there is much to gain should the Games come to the Gold Coast.”
The CGF Evaluation Commission will now travel to Hambantota, commencing its visit on Monday June 27.
The Commission will release its report on the two bid cities by October 11th, a month before the vote at the Federation’s General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11.
By Tom Degun in the Gold Coast
June 21 - The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission have claimed that they are unconcerned by the nature of Hambantota's bid for the 2018 event despite the fact that only one of the major sporting venues in the Sri Lankan city has been completed.
The five-person Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, are currently undertaking a four-day inspection of the Gold Coast, Hambantota's only rivals for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, before they head to Sri Lanka next week from June 27-30.
A large part of the visit to the Gold Coast will see the Commission taken on site visits to key venues such as the Carrara Stadium with the large majority of the proposed 2018 Commonwealth Games venues in the Australian city having been completed.
But in stark contrast, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (pictured), which opened in February 2011 and staged two matches during the ICC 2011 World Cup, is the only proposed 2018 Commonwealth Games venue to have been built where it is scheduled to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the archery if the 2018 bid is successful.
Therefore the majority of the of the Commission's stay in Sri Lanka will see them located in the country's largest city, the capital Colombo, for a series of virtual presentations with only a one day visit to Hambantota but CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, one of the members of the five-person Commission, said this poses no problem at all.
"Hambantota is a developing city and it is no secret that the majority of their venues have not yet been built," Hooper told insidethegames.
"But they are hugely ambitious and there are plans for Hambantota developed into a sport city regardless of whether they are awarded Commonwealth Games.
"In fact all of the venues will be built except the Velodrome and the temporary venues even if the bid is unsuccessful.
"There is also new the seaport that is being developed and a major new airport under construction meaning that the area will soon be a hub of prosperity for Sri Lanka so we are not at all concerned by the nature of their bid."
Hambantota are planning a compact bid with all the venues in the same area and they have stated that all planned 2018 Commonwealth Games venues will be ready by 2016 when the city is due to host the South Asian Games.
Martin echoed Hooper's comments, claiming that the Glasgow's successful bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which she headed, was similar to the Hambantota bid in that few of the major Games venues were built during the bid stage.
"We won the 2014 bid on a Village that was virtual," she said.
"You can't expect to have everything there seven years out."
Day one of the Commission's visit to the Gold Coast was largely made up of presentations but day two and three will consist of site visits and a tour of the city via helicopter before proceedings are concluded with a final press conference on day four.
Following both visits, the Commission will produce a final Evaluation report for voting delegates which is due to be published this September and likely to play a crucial role in deciding where the 2018 Commonwealth Games are staged when the vote for them takes place at the GCF General Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis.
By Duncan Mackay
June 15 - Hambantota is confident of winning its bid to host the Commonwealth Games, Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage (pictured right) has claimed, at the same time shrugging off fears that financial problems connected to this year's cricket World Cup could affect its campaign.
The race to host the event in 2018 is entering a critical period with an Evaluation Commission from the Commonwealth Games Federation (GCF) due to begin inspections next week of Hambantota and its only rival, the Gold Coast in Australia.
The Sri Lankan city is considered the outsider but Aluthgamage is hoping that history will repeat itself.
Kuala Lumpur won a vote with Adelaide to become the first Asian city to host the Games in 1998.
"In 1991, when Malaysia was competing, the difference between those two countries was the same like with us today," said Aluthgamage.
"There is no difference.
"Nobody thought that Australia would lose, but Malaysia won."
Sri Lanka's Government are planning to spend up to $4 billion (£2.5 billion) on new facilities and infrastructure if their bid is successful, they revealed today.
Not all of this will be connected to the games, but will be on ports, sports stadiums and other basic infrastructure developments," said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the co-chairman of Hambantota 2018 and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Cabraal is also confident that Hambantota can beat the Gold Coast, who he claims are spending $9 million (£5.5 million) on their bid.
"Members of the Commonwealth present at the bid presentation [in Kuala Lumpur last month] claimed they had underestimated the potential of Sri Lanka," he said.
"In the past 80 years, only a handful of countries had hosted the Games and therefore Sri Lanka, as a new contender, had a better chance."
Cabraal accepted that the Gold Coast would be a lower-risk option for the CGF but it would have would more impact if it were held in Hambantota.
The plans have already been shown to Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the CGF, who visited Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The CGF's Evaluation Commission, which is chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, will visit the Gold Coast from June 20-23, before travelling to Hambantota from June 27-30, before providing a report in the lead-up to the CGF Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11, where the host city will be chosen.
"Everything is already in place Australia; they have the stadiums and all the required facilities," said Cabraal.
"But in Sri Lanka we have much more to do.
"It's going to be a huge investment in the country.
"We have a good chance.
"If Malaysia was able to do it at that time, we can do it, too.
"I think that will be reflected in the minds of many countries when they go to vote.
"So we believe that Commonwealth nations will also back Sri Lanka at the voting and we will surprise the world."
Hambantota's campaign to host the Commonwealth Games has coincided with Sri Lanka Cricket calling on the country's Government to help it meet the $69 million (£43 million) bill it spent on co-hosting the 2011 World Cup.
Part of the cost was incurred building the the Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota, which is due to host archery if the Commonwealth Games are awarded to Hambantota.
"Sri Lanka Cricket ran out of funds after hosting the World Cup and sought Government help to settle some payments," said Aluthgamage.
Sri Lanka, which lost the final to India by six wickets, hosted 12 matches during the World Cup, with others held in India and Bangladesh.
"In total, we spent about five billion rupees ($46 million) to build the three World Cup venues," Aluthgamage said.
"It's not a crisis situation yet.
"We are confident [the problem will be solved]."
By Tom Degun
June 14 - Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the co-chairman of Hambantota 2018 and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, has claimed hosting the Commonwealth Games would showcase to the world that the country has truly emerged from the devastating tsunami in 2004 which ripped the area to pieces.
Hambantota was one of the cities hit the hardest by the Indian Ocean tsunami just over six years ago that left more than 35,000 people dead in Sri Lanka.
The majority of buildings in Hambantota were destroyed and over 500,000 people were left homeless but the coastal city has since undergone a number of major development projects as part of the recovery from the disaster.
These include the construction of a new seaport, a new international airport and an international cricket stadium, which hosted matches during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, but Cabraal believes that Hambantota winning the right to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games would unequivocally show to the world that the country has finally overcome the damage left by the tsunami.
"It [the Commonwealth Games] gives the opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase to the world that we have emerged out of the Tsunami, that we have emerged out of the conflict and that we have truly reconciled," said Cabraal.
"So this will give us a great opportunity to show to the world how Sri Lanka has transformed itself and also give us the sense of occasion, as well as catalytic effect to bring about that change.
"So I think it will be an absolutely life changing exercise and experience for Sri Lanka and we are hoping that we will have a great chance of hosting the Games."
Hambantota are currently locked in a two-horse race to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games against the Gold Coast in Australia.
Both cities are set face the most important stage of the bid so far with the 2018 Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, set to visit both candidate cities later this month.
The Commission will visit the Gold Coast from June 20-23, before travelling to Hambantota from June 27-30, but Cabraal is in confident mood ahead of the technical inspection and feels that a Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka can provide a real legacy that will impress the CGF.
"We are going to have Hambantota developed to be a sport city and, at the same time, the sport city will have other areas of commercial interest," he said.
"For example it will also be an IT city and together with the seaport that is now being developed and the airport that is being developed, we will have another area from which Sri Lanka's growth will be supported.
"So we will have several pockets of growth in Sri Lanka which will then ensure that the entire country can be developed so that it [the 2018 Commonwealth Games] can be a truly inspiring event for the city as well as the country.
"But it will also be a fantastic opportunity for the Commonwealth to show that there are emerging countries who can come forward to host the Games, not just those few countries who have hosted the Commonwealth Games so far.
"There are 71 nations that constitute the Commonwealth and it is good to show that more of them are going to be competing to host the Games in the future."
By Tom Degun
June 13 - Queensland's Government has pledged that over 30,000 new jobs will be created in the Gold Coast should the Australian coastal city stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Queensland's Treasurer Andrew Fraser (pictured) has forecast the creation of 140,000 jobs in Queensland over the next two years ahead of the State Budget announcement tomorrow, which will be driven by a $14 billion (£9 billion) capital works programme.
However, Fraser said there would be around a 30,000 increase on the number if the Gold Coast holds off Sri Lankan rivals Hambantota to win the right to host the Games, with a decision due from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at its Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 this year.
"There's no doubt that the Gold Coast will play a big part in Queensland's next wave of prosperity," he said.
"The Commonwealth Games, should our bid be successful, will be a big driver of construction jobs in the lead-up to 2018.
"There's also little doubt that once the world sees the Gold Coast as host of the Games, there will be a swag of economic benefits, including more jobs in sectors like tourism and retail."
Last month, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh outlined the major economic benefits the 2018 Commonwealth Games would bring to the Gold Coast and urged the local public to back the bid.
"An independent economic assessment has estimated that the potential economic benefit of staging the Games to be up to $2 billion (£1.3 million)," she said.
"These Games would leave a permanent legacy for the Gold Coast and a huge boost for tourism and accommodation providers - there are 19,915 hotel beds within a 10 kilometres radius of Carrara Stadium alone."
Gold Coast 2018 chairman Mark Stockwell added: "The Games Village will kick start the Health and Knowledge Precinct at Parklands, which is part of the city's bold vision.
"The investment at Carrara will deliver on Council's economic vision to broaden its sports tourism economy and the Commonwealth Games will deliver the event that will put the Gold Coast on the international map once again and will be the focus for the Gold Coast to become a world class city.
"To achieve this we need to win the vote of the 71 voting delegates in November.
"This is why we need the whole community behind the bid.
"It's our time to shine."
The 2018 bid race has now reached a crucial stage with the CGF Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, set to visit both candidate cities later this month.
The Commission will visit the Gold Coast from June 20-23 before travelling to Hambantota from June 27-30.
By Tom Degun
June 7 - Mark Stockwell (pictured), chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 bid team, has revealed that he is fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of rivals Hambantota but that he simply wants to focus on his own bid.
The Australian and Sri Lankan cities are currently locked in a fierce two-horse race to win the right to stage the Commonwealth Games, with a decision on the host city due to be announced at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 this year.
The bid race is now entering a crucial stage with both Bid Books having been submitted last month and the CGF 2018 Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, set to visit both candidate cities later this month.
However, while Stockwell claims to know all about his rival, he says he is far more concerned about the Gold Coast.
"I'm a big believer in focusing and worrying about the things that you can influence and not stressing about the things that you've got absolutely no control over," Stockwell said on ABC Radio.
"And I've got no control over Hambantota's bid.
"To be honest, I know where their weaknesses are and I know where their strengths are but I don't need to read their Bid Book to know that.
"I think our strengths are the fact that the world sporting community knows that Australia can run excellent multi-sport international events and the experiences of Sydney in 2000 [when Australia successfully hosted the Summer Olympics and Paralympics] and Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 are still at the forefront of all the delegates' minds.
"But I just think it is pointless [for me to discuss Hambantota].
"I am in a competition and you might think I'm being a bit flippant but I am just focused on the end game.
"I don't want to talk about their bid; I want to talk about our bid.
"Sorry but that is just the way I am."
Meanwhile the CGF Evaluation Commission is set to visit the Gold Coast from June 20-23, before visiting Hambantota from June 27-30.
The five person Commission will consist of Martin, CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Gideon Sam, secretary general of the Barbados Olympic Association Erskine Simmonds and executive director of The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Andrew Ryan.
"Gold Coast City is honoured and proud to be Australia's candidate city and we look forward to the next phase of the bid and welcoming Commonwealth Games Associations to our city," said Stockwell.
By Tom Degun
Welsh boxer Sean McGoldrick will finally be awarded the gold medal in the men's bantamweight division from the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at a special ceremony at the Sport Wales National Centre at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff tomorrow evening.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) made the announcement - confirming last week's exclusive report on insidethegames - following the removal of Manju Wanniarachchi from the results, after the Sri Lankan boxer was found guilty of an anti-doping violation at the Delhi Games.
The Commonwealth Games Council for Wales has organised the special ceremony in Cardiff for McGoldrick to pay homage to the achievement of the 19-year-old.
"Sean is a very deserving gold medallist," said Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the CGF, who is due to present the medal to McGoldrick.
"It has been unfortunate that Sean has had to wait so long for a medal that is rightly his.
"He showed great sportsmanship during the Games at Delhi and this has continued throughout the months that followed so I will be delighted to present the gold medal to him tomorrow."
The opportunity for Wanniarachchi to appeal lapsed without the athlete taking any further action and the disqualification of the Sri Lankan from all results in Delhi has led to a re-awarding of medals from the event.
McGoldrick, who at 18 was the youngest member of Wales' boxing team and lost the 56kg weight-division final on count back, now takes the gold.
The silver medal has been awarded to Tirafalo Seoko from Botswana, who lost to Wanniarachchi at the semi-finals.
The man who lost to McGoldrick in the semi-finals, Louis Julie from Mauritius, retains his bronze, while the second bronze medal has gone to Nicholas Okoth from Kenya, who was defeated by Wanniarachchi in the quarterfinals.
Wanniarachchi's gold medal has been returned to the CGF but, as it is not in top condition, McGoldrick will be presented with a brand new official Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Chris Jenkins, Chef de Mission of Team Wales in Delhi said: "Sean must be commended for not only his fantastic performance in Delhi but also for how he's handled himself since this all came to light.
"He's proved himself to be the model professional and it couldn't happen to anyone more deserving."
"It's also a time for Wales to celebrate as we've seen our position in the overall standing rise by two, we now feature in 13th position, equal to Melbourne 2006.
"With Glasgow just over three years off and the [Commonwealth] Youth Games just a matter of months away, this gives our athletes yet another boost in their preparations."
Hooper continued that all medallists from the event had a right to feel proud of their achievements.
"Congratulations from the Commonwealth Games Federation go to all the medallists as they now stand," he said.
"We will get the silver to Tirafalo Seoko and the bronze to Nicholas Okoth immediately.
"Their names, along with Sean's and the other bronze medallist, Louis Julie, will be enshrined in the Commonwealth Games records as the medallists for the men's boxing 56kg division from Delhi 2010 forever."
By Duncan Mackay
June 2 - South Africa are planning to launch a campaign to host the 2022 Commonweatlh Games after the disappointment of being forced to drop plans to bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics because of lack of Government support, they announced today.
The event has been never staged in Africa and a bid from South Africa will be welcomed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), keen to take it to new markets.
"Immediately after the announcement of where the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held, we will go in for 2022," said Gideon Sam, the President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASOC),
"It has never been to Africa and so we want to put in a bid."
The host city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is due to be chosen by the CGF at its annual meeting in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 where the candidates will be the Gold Coast and Hambantota.
South Africa was widely expected to bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics following the success of last year's FIFA World Cup but Jacob Zuma's Government decided not to back a bid, saying it wanted to focus on delivering basic services such as water and electricity to all its citizens.
But Sam said there was nothing to stop the country bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Sam did not specify which city South Africa proposed to put forward but Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth had all hoped to bid for the Olympics while Cape Town had also initially expressed interest before withdrawing because of the costs involved.
He told reporters at the 30-day countdown to the 123rd International Olympic Committee Session to be held in Durban in July that South Africa had previously stepped back to allow other countries to bid for the Commonwealth Games.
"In the past we stood back for Nigeria [Abuja] but they lost out to Glasgow [for the right to host the 2014 Games]," he said.
"This time we have said there will be no horse-trading, we will put up our hand and see how we go."
Sam added that a bid for the Commonwealth Games would not be hampered by the same issues that affected a possible Olympics bid.
"The scale of the Commonwealth Games is a lot smaller than the Olympics," he said.
"We will have to have buy-in from a host city and from Government, because of security issues, but we are not talking about the expense of an Olympics."
South Africa's decision to bid for the Games will be a blow to several cities in Britain, including Birmingham and Cardiff, who have both expressed an interest in bidding for 2022.
The CGF are due to choose the host city for 2022 at its meeting in 2015.
Sam hopes that by successfully hosting the Commonwealth Games it could be the platform for a bid for the Olympics and Paralympics.
But he warned that the Government must be fully behind it.
"Remember when we started this whole process, we said that this is Government, they can host it and not the National Olympic Committee," Sam said.
"So we were always cautious about running ahead of the whole process.
"That's what we said, once Government shows appetite for the games, we will then be able to."
By Duncan Mackay in Kuala Lumpur
Mike Fennell is set to end his 17-year reign as President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) after promising Malyasia's Prince Tunku Imran (pictured) that he will not stand against him in the elections later this year.
The Jamaican has held the position since first being elected at Victoria in Canada in 1994 but will step down in November at the Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis when Tunku, who has been the CGF's vice-president since 2003, is expected to be the only candidate.
Fennell told Tunku that he would not seek another term during a telephone call earlier this week.
Fennell had been forced to miss this week's Executive Board meeting of the CGF because he is currently recovering in Jamaica from triple heart bypass surgery he underwent recently.
"I was in contact with Mike Fennell to let him know that I'd like to announce my candidancy during the time of the EB, particularly as so many [CGF] regional vice-presidents were here," 63-year-old Tunku told insidethegames.
"I did announce to the Board that I would be standing.
"Mike Fennell (pictured) said to me, 'If you are standing then I won't'.
"He's said he is going to stand down."
Tunku, whose late father Tuanku Jaafar was Malaysia's King between 1994 and 1999, has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2006 and President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia since 1998, the year that Kuala Lumpur became the first country in Asia to host the Commonwealth Games.
That event is widely credited with helping reinvigorate the Games.
"Since Kuala Lumpur the Federation has gone...to something that is much bigger," Tunku said.
"Our vision was that the Games should represent what the Commonwealth is best at.
"We made it happen."
Tunku now wants to carry on that philosophy when he is elected as President.
One of the first things he plans to do is to arrange a strategic review early next year involving the GCF, Commonwealth Games Associations and sports to discuss the future direction of the events, including how to get the top athletes like Usain Bolt to compete.
"I'm keen not to change direction but to strengthen the Federation in so many ways," he said.
"We need to be better known.
"We have to try establish the desire of top athletes to want to be part of the Games, without obviously getting into the payment of monies because we can't go down that route.
"We've got to change the perception of the top athletes.
"That's to do with how we market the Games and position the Games."
Tunku also wants to continue encouraging more countries from around the Commonwealth to bid for the Games following last year's event in New Delhi and the candidature from Hambantota in Sri Lanka for 2018.
"We really want to get Commonwealth countries who have never had the Games that are capable of doing a good Games really to start bidding," he said.
"Singapore is a classic case [and] South Africa has three cities which could do the Games very well."
Source: CGF Newsletter
Kuala Lumpur, May 11, 2011
The Gold Coast and Hambantota have formally started the race to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games after lodging their bids with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today.
Speaking at the ceremony, CGF Vice President, HRH Tunku Imran thanked both candidate cities for their commitment to the Commonwealth Games movement.
“Over the last two years we have seen both the Gold Coast and Hambantota work towards this day and develop not only their bid books but also an understanding of what responsibilities lay ahead for them and what the Commonwealth Games mean to the people of the Commonwealth.
“The race for the 2018 Games presents an intriguing choice for our members.
“Each city would make a worthy host and would continue to build the international profile and brand of the Commonwealth Games as one of the most popular and enduring world-class events on the international sporting calendar.
“Today’s presentations mark only the start of the selection process for 2018. Now that the candidature files have been formally lodged with the CGF, an extensive evaluation process will get underway, beginning with an analysis of the technical aspects of each city’s bid documents.
“This will include site visits to each city by our Evaluation Committee with the final decision to be taken by our member nations at the CGF’s General Assembly in St Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean on 11th November later this year, when responsibility for both upholding the great traditions of the ‘Friendly Games’ as well as taking the movement into the future will be passed on to either the Gold Coast or Hambantota.”
“It is not just about what each candidate city will offer over 11 days on and off the field of play in 2018, it is also about ensuring that we continue to celebrate the diversities within the Commonwealth, making sure that sport offers our youth a chance for betterment, and its about all stakeholders working together, with the Games as a catalyst, for a better understanding of each other and for peace.”
The CGF Executive Board, chaired by HRH Tunku Imran in the absence of President Michael Fennell who is recovering from heart surgery, appointed Ms Louise Martin CBE, Honorary Secretary of the CGF, as the Chair of the Evaluation Committee.
Other members appointed are Mr Gideon Sam, President South Africa Sports Confederation and National Olympic Committee, Mr Erskine Simmons, Secretary General Barbados Olympic Committee, Mr Andrew Ryan, Executive Director, ASOIF, and Mr Mike Hooper, CGF CEO.
Their work begins next month and the Final Evaluation report will be completed in September.
A draw conducted during the lodgment ceremony determined that Hambantota will be the first city to present to the General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
“A Hambantota 2018 Games will secure long term and sustainable social and economic benefits and drive sustainable development throughout our country. But it will also bring about a major and exciting change in Commonwealth & world sport – mostly for your sports and competitors.”
“Given the opportunity to host the Games will make such a difference to Commonwealth sport, to its athletes and to the young people in Sri Lanka, South Asia and around the Commonwealth who aspire to excite and thrill us with their performances in 2018. We are not adapting existing facilities but creating brand new state of the art venues, built around the Athletes’ Village that puts athletes at its heart. We have already started work on our wonderful new host venue, the adjacent international airport and new road system. And we are on time and on budget to complete in 2016 so we can host CGA training camps in the 18 months before the Games.”
Sam Coffa AM,JP, President, Australian Commonwealth Games Association
"As a country, Australia loves the Games and the stands will be full of cheering spectators supporting both the winners and those who participate."
"The ACGA was very pleased to submit the Gold Coast 2018 Candidature File to the Commonwealth Games Federation and has no doubt the city can host a world class event.
Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh MP
"The submission of the Gold Coast Candidature File is a milestone in the bidding process marked very enthusiastically by a community on the Gold Coast, throughout Queensland and Australia who really want to host the Games in 2018."
"The Games will elaborate our sense of pride for the country we live in and evoke a shared passion that will leave a long term social and cultural legacy for the City."
Mark Stockwell, Chairman, 2018 Gold Coast Bid Committee
"We were pleased with the enthusiasm shown at the lodgement ceremony for the Gold Coast City Candidature and this reflects an Australia wide enthusiasm for the Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Games."
"It has been thus far an amazing process to be involved in – I have enjoyed competing in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and have now turned my passion to developing a Bid to host the Games in my home country.
“Australia is a nation that embraces sport on all levels across multiple disciplines and we understand the significance and benefits sport and sporting events bring to international peace and goodwill among the family of Commonwealth nations. Gold Coast City is honoured and proud to be Australia’s candidate City and we look forward to the next phase of the Bid and welcoming Commonwealth Games Association representatives to Gold Coast City.
Source: CGF Newsletter
Kuala Lumpur, May 10, 2011
Two cities, Gold Coast in Australia and Hambantota in Sri Lanka, are gearing up for the lodgment of their official bids to host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (May 11).
Both cities have taken along high-powered delegations for the presentation to the Commonwealth Games Federation Executive Board.
The Co-Chairmen of the Hambantota bid committee, the Minister of Sports Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and the Governor of the Sri Lankan Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, along with parliamentarian Hon Namal Rajapaksa, former athlete Sriyani Kulawansa, and the bid Chief Executive Nalin Attygalle, will represent the harbour city.
Another 22 members of bid committee from the public and private sectors and the Armed forces will support them.
The Gold Coast team will be headed by Queensland Premier, Hon Anna Bligh MP, Gold Coast City Mayor, Ron Clarke MBE, Australian Commonwealth Games Association President, Sam Coffa, AM, JP, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid Company Chairman, Mark Stockwell, Australian Commonwealth Games Association, CEO, Perry Crosswhite AM, and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid Company, CEO, Mark Peters.
Hambantota organisers have said their presentation we will depict Sri Lanka's culture through music and dance, show what they have to offer the Commonwealth’s 71 countries, and highlight that children are the future who will participate in 2018 if the city is successful in its bid.
Commonwealth Games hurdler, silver medalist, Sriyani Kulawansa, who will speak at the bid ceremony, said:
“I won my medal in KL and I am delighted to be back in my medal winning venue to officially lodge the 2018 Bid.”
Hambantota Bid Co-Chairman, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, said:
“The key motivation to host a Commonwealth Games is intrinsically linked with plans for the long-term development of the district of Hambantota and the southern province of Sri Lanka
“Our promise to athletes and guests hoping to visit Hambantota and our beautiful country in 2018, would be that we would provide them with an experience of a lifetime, offering diversity, beauty and charm of our heritage, coupled with exciting festivals and fun.”
Hambantota Bid Committee CEO, Nalin Attygalle, said:
“His Excellency, the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, appointed a high powered committee to head our bid. Fifteen team leaders were appointed to lead 15 themes of the bid books.
“A great deal of effort has gone into producing the bid documents.”
Gold Coast organisers have said that their presentation will have a component that illustrates Australia’s passion for the Games and the event readiness of the Gold Coast and Australia to host another successful Games.
Gold Coast Bid Chairman Mark Stockwell said:
"Our vision is to present the Gold Coast as the best place to conduct a world class Games with excellent competition in a relaxed and friendly environment. As an athlete I understand and appreciate the focus that is needed to ensure athletes can compete at their very best."
Australian Commonwealth Games Association President, Sam Coffa said:
"The Gold Coast is a city that we confidently endorse as a worthy candidate to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games – where sport and indeed athletes are already very much a focus of the community’s attention. Australians consider the opportunity to host the Games as an honour and a privilege and to that end the ACGA is sure Gold Coast City will uphold Australia’s track record in providing a memorable experience for athletes, officials, volunteers, and spectators."
Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said:
"Gold Coast City will not only provide an atmosphere that encourages great athletic performance, but also nurtures new friendships for those involved. It will be a Games that will forge special memories that last a lifetime… like those I have carried with me for more than 50 years."
Note: The formal bid lodgement ceremony is at 12 noon Kuala Lumpur time at the city’s Le Meridien Hotel.
By Duncan Mackay in Kuala Lumpur
Hambantota were the first of the cities campaigning to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games to arrive here today to prepare to formally deliver their bid books.
The delegation from Sril Lanka arrived having already presented a copy of the important document to the country's President Mahinda Rajapaksa before they left at a special ceremony at the the Temple Trees in Colombo.
The bid book, which outlines the plans for the Games, including details on transport, accommodation and venues, is due to be officially handed over to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) next Wednesday (May 11).
Hambantota's only rivals, the Gold Coast, are due to arrive in the Malyasian capital tomorrow.
Each city is also due to make a 20-minute presentation when it delivers its book.
"We are pleased to be here in Kuala Lumpur and are looking forward to presenting our exciting plans to the Commonwealth Games Federation," Hambantota 2018 chief executive Nalin Attygalle told insidethegames.
Lots will also be drawn to determine the order of presentations when a decision is made at the CGF Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis.