Hambantota presents strong case for 2018 GamesThe Commonwealth Games Federation Evaluation Commission has completed its four-day visit to Sri Lanka, declaring Hambantota a strong candidate for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Evaluation Commission chairman, Louise Martin from Scotland, said her five member panel had been impressed with the vision held by local authorities to host the 2018 Games.

The Commission – which also includes 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 – held high-level discussions with representatives of national, district and local governments and senior representatives of the bid team during its visit.

The Commission’s visit to Sri Lanka follows time spent on the Gold Coast in Australia last week, the other 2018 Commonwealth Games candidature city.

“Overall, the proposal of staging the Commonwealth Games in Hambantota is an exciting one and, given the development of the relevant infrastructure, will provide a unique Games experience for the athletes and other Games client groups,” Mrs Martin said.

“We have been impressed with the vision for Sri Lanka and Hambantota and now have a clear view of where the hosting of the Commonwealth Games could fit within that vision.

“The leadership shown by the national and district governments is impressive.  The alignment of agencies around the national, regional and Games vision is equally impressive.

“As you would expect more than seven years out, and with considerable additional work to be done in forming the final Games plan, there are some matters which simply cannot be, or do not need to be, known at this stage.

“That said, the foundations for a great Games are laid in the plans which are now being locked down by the governments, the bid team and the Sri Lankan Commonwealth Games Association.”

Mrs Martin said that it had been a fruitful visit to the country, with the day in Hambantota providing great insight to that region’s aspirations.

“We met the Hambantota people and those who are already doing the work necessary to build this city and region and we noted substantial progress and have no doubt about the resolve to deliver the necessary infrastructure by 2016.

“It is clear that in meeting the requirements for the 2018 Commonwealth Games important legacies can be generated for the region and, indeed the country.

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.

BBC Domestic Broadcast Rights Holder for Glasgow 2014Glasgow 2014 has appointed the BBC as the Domestic Broadcast Rights Holder for the XX Commonwealth Games.

The BBC investment in Glasgow 2014 reflects the importance of the Games to the Home nations and offers the Organising Committee an unparalleled platform for the promotion of the Games to the widest possible UK audience.

The BBC Network offers coverage of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games through the BBC One and BBC Two television networks, news coverage across the BBC Radio and TV networks (including Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra), red button interactive and/or IPTV services, the BBC Sport website and international promotion of the Games through BBC World News and the BBC World Service.  

In addition, it is expected that the BBC’s Nations and Regions sport and news teams for television, radio and online will generate considerable additional interest by focusing on the performance of local competitors in those parts of the British Isles which compete at the Games as separate teams.

The BBC has a long association with the Commonwealth Games which dates back to the first British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, and the organisation will bring unrivalled experience of covering major multi-sport Games.

Glasgow 2014 anticipates significant benefits from this experience in relation to shaping the host broadcast production of the Games, to ensure the highest quality output is achieved.  

Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin said:

“I am delighted that the BBC has taken up the domestic rights for the Commonwealth Games and I believe this deal represents a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow 2014 as well as the Commonwealth Games movement in general. We anticipate some of the world’s highest profile athletes will compete at our Games, fresh from their successes at London 2012.

“The added spice will be seeing the stars of Team GB in their own national colours in Glasgow, just two years later. The BBC’s reach will help us to generate a huge level of excitement and anticipation in the lead up to the biggest event Scotland will ever have hosted.”

Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland, said:

“BBC Scotland will have a special role at the heart of our coverage in giving the Games extensive exposure in Scotland across our dedicated TV, radio and online services – all of which will make the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games a truly momentous occasion in Scotland.”
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said:
"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will showcase Scotland to the world and this is another key milestone in the delivery of the Games.  While we urge everyone to come to Scotland and be part of this great event, I am pleased that the award of the domestic rights to the BBC means that most people in the UK will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the Games on free to view television in their homes.
“Income from the sale of broadcasting rights is a welcome contribution to the Games Budget alongside the funds provided by the Scottish Government and its funding partners."

Note to Editors

1.    The BBC’s network television channels are watched by 85% of the population each week, whilst 66% listen to the BBC’s national radio stations.
2.    The BBC’s submission to the David Davies Review of listed sporting events stated the following:   “The Commonwealth Games is second only to the Olympics in bringing together so many countries to compete in many sports and events. As England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland compete as separate teams, the Games are particularly important to the nations. Glasgow has been selected to host the Games in 2014. When the Games were hosted by Manchester in 2002, they reached 40.3 million people – nearly 73% of the UK population, a level of reach on a par with the Olympics, the football World Cup and Euros (i.e. over 40 million). The audience peaked at 9.7 million for the Closing Ceremony.”
3.    For media queries for Glasgow 2014 please contact Glasgow 2014 PR Manager Holly Wheeler on 0141 287 3457 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
4.    For media queries for the BBC, please contact Head of Communications Roy Templeton on 0141 422 6315 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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.

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HAMBANTOTA 2018 LAUNCHES LIFE-CHANGING LEGACY PLANMEDIA RELEASE
HAMBANTOTA 2018 LAUNCHES LIFE-CHANGING LEGACY PLAN
- FINAL DAY OF CGF EVALUATION COMMISSION VISIT-


30 June 2011 – Sri Lanka’s bid to host its first Commonwealth Games will leave a life-changing legacy for its 20 million people, according to a Hambantota 2018 Legacy Plan published today – the final day of the visit by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission.

Titled ‘Enhancing Lives and Transforming a Nation’, the plan outlines how the tear-drop shaped nation will harness the power of sport and the benefits of becoming a host city before, during and after the event.  It includes visions for four inter-related legacy themes – sport, society, the economy, and environment – with objectives, targets and actions/programmes for each.

Those under ‘Sport’ will see the already under construction Sports City and associated infrastructure matching the best in world.  Such investment will support a comprehensive sporting events calendar.  Games-related development programmes will promote sport for all, encourage increased and sustained levels of participation, and identify and develop talent.  And there will be investment at grassroots level through in schools, development of local sports clubs, up-skilling of coaches and greater involvement of National Sports Federations at all levels.

‘Social & Education’ actions include the introduction of Games-related education programmes in schools.  An international exchange programme for young people across the Commonwealth will foster goodwill, promote understanding of different cultures and endorse the Commonwealth values.  And a University housed in the futuristic Sports City will specialise in Sports Science, Sports Technology and Sport Business, offering entrance credit for talented athletes; it will also seek to retain talent in the country, increase entrepreneurs and promote young, innovative businesses.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, said: “Hosting the Games in Hambantota will make a real difference.  We will use the Games as a catalyst for social change, to accelerate our existing long term economic development plans, and most importantly to deliver wide ranging benefits to all our society and help change people’s lives.  Our Legacy Plan shows how we will do so in a manner that befits an initiative driven by the ideals of the Commonwealth – Humanity, Equality, Destiny – and underpinned by our credo for 2018: ‘Together.  From the heart.’”

The development of Hambantota and the surrounding area is already starting to deliver significant city infrastructure projects including new roads and rail routes, the Hambantota International Airport and the Hambantota Seaport.  Further developments cited under ‘City Infrastructure & Economic Development’ include a new IT/business park and will support substantial future investment in hotels, retail and the business/commercial sector.  Increased foreign economic investment into Hambantota as it becomes one of five ‘metro cities’ and an economic hub to do business in and from – to Asia – will create exciting opportunities for the national workforce.

‘Environmental Protection & Enhancement’ programmes include innovative approaches to city planning, utility resourcing and supply and sustainable design and environmental protection, with the development of the ‘new city’ offering a unique blank canvas.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister and Co-Chairman of the Organising Committee, Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, added: “We want to set new standards in legacy planning for the Commonwealth Games movement.  These standards reflect our passion, commitment and aspirations to harness the power and ambition of the Commonwealth Games movement to help create opportunities and outcomes that enrich the lives of people.  But our Legacy Plan is not just about Hambantota and Sri Lanka.  These visions will transcend the Commonwealth, especially to emerging and developing nations, reaching out to new communities with new opportunities.”

The Hambantota 2018 Legacy Plan is intrinsically linked to existing long term development plans.  ‘Taking Sri Lanka to 2020’ addresses the recovery from 26 years of internal conflict; The Greater Hambantota Development Plan’ sets out to open up the region as a gateway to Asia; and a new Seven Year Strategic Plan for Sport aims to transform the overall sporting landscape of Sri Lanka – the ultimate goal being to be amongst the top three medal winning Commonwealth countries in 2018.  Its progress will be overseen by a Legacy Commission comprising representatives from government departments, public sector organisations and private sector companies.

The Plan was launched by Hambantota 2018 Co-Chairs Governor Cabraal and Minister Aluthgamage at a ceremony in honour of the CGF Evaluation Commission at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo.  The CGF Evaluation Commission departs the ‘island jewel of the Indian ocean’ today having spent four days assessing its capability of hosting the Games in 2018.  The CGF is due to choose the host city at its meeting in St Kitts and Nevis on 11 November 2011.

For more information on Hambantota 2018 visit: www.hambantota2018.com

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The Hambantota 2018 Legacy Plan ‘Enhancing Lives and Transforming a Nation’ includes four inter-related legacy themes:

1.       Sport;

2.       Social and Education;

3.       City Infrastructure & Economic Development; and

4.       Environmental Protection & Enhancement.

The vision and headline objectives for each of the four inter-related legacy themes are:

1.       Sport

Vision: For the Games to act as a catalyst to develop Sports City, a new venue for world sport and provide a launch pad for Sri Lanka’s Seven Year Strategic Plan for Sport, transforming the sporting landscape, inspiring athletes and promoting sport at all levels and across all sports.

Headline objectives:

  • To develop a world-class Sports City in Hambantota that meets the needs of all users in legacy mode – elite and developing athletes from home and abroad, university, local community and resident population
  • To win more medals and support improved levels of performance by Sri Lankan athletes across the Commonwealth sports
  • To use the Games as a platform to attract and stage events in Hambantota, the Southern Province and Sri Lanka
  • To use the Games as a catalyst to encourage and increase levels of participation, particularly amongst young people and women, with clear progression routes along the participant pathway from grassroots through to elite performance
  • To produce and support the ongoing development of world leading coaches, officials and sports administrators
  • To implement the Athlete Training and development Support Programme for participants from across the Commonwealth
  • To develop a monitoring and evaluation system for future monitoring of the development of Sri Lankan sport


2.       Social & Education

Vision: To use the Games and sport as a catalyst for social change, promoting a culture where sport, education, healthy lifestyles and personal development are integral to people’s everyday lives and providing new opportunities, particularly for women and young people.

Headline objectives:

  • To empower communities through promoting opportunities for community involvement and fostering a culture of volunteering
  • To use the Games to raise awareness of the values of the Commonwealth Games Movement through education programmes
  • To develop a sport and business focused University


3.       City Infrastructure & Economic Development

Vision: To deliver significant major infrastructure that supports Hambantota’s economic development and growth, promoting new investment, tourism and contributing to the economic growth of the District, Province and country.

Headline objectives:

  • To develop new city infrastructure to support economic growth, promote further investment and raise the international profile
  • To create new business opportunities, attract inward investment, encourage innovation, create new jobs, strengthen Hambantota’s position within Sri Lanka and Asia
  • To enhance Hambantota’s and Sri Lanka’s profile as a tourist destination, increasing tourism spend and length of stay as well as promoting higher standards in the hospitality industry
  • To enhance the training and development of business, IT and sports management professionals to help retain talent nationally and promote reverse migration

 

4.       Environmental Protection & Enhancement

Vision: To use the Games to introduce and raise awareness of existing and new environmental protection initiatives that will transform Hambantota into one of Sri Lanka’s greenest cities – a beacon of excellence for other developing and emerging Commonwealth countries.

Headline objectives:

  • To use the Games as a catalyst to enhance environmental standards and sustainability energy practices
  • To increase environmental awareness and participation in environmental protection programmes
  • To protect the local biodiversity and wildlife through strategic urban planning
  • To ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of these environmental commitments


About the Hambantota 2018 emblem and strapline

The Hambantota 2018 emblem features eight pairs of hands in the colours of the CGF.  Each pair of hands is pressed together, palms together and fingers pointed outwards.  This symbolises Añjali Mudrā, the hand gesture practiced throughout Asia and the continent’s eight Commonwealth members; it has the same meaning as the customary spoken Sanskrit greeting Namaste.  The design also depicts the similar Ayubowan gesture, a cultural symbol of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan hospitality.  The bid strap line is ‘Together.  From the heart.’

The Hambantota 2018 emblem and strapline are available on request as jpeg and/or eps files.

For further information on Hambantota 2018 visit www.hambantota2018.com

Media contact:

Malcolm Munro

+44 (0) 207 861 3217
+44 (0) 7795 013 006

Edd Ross

+44 (0) 207 861 3133

+44 (0) 7980 011 357

+44 (0) 7980 011 357

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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]."

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Source: www.cgf.com

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.

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