Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun

Sean McGoldrick vs Manju Wanniarachchi. Photo zimbio.comWelsh 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."

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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."

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By Duncan Mackay in Kuala Lumpur

Mike Fennell in Delhi 2010.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."

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Source: CGF Newsletter

Kuala Lumpur, May 11, 2011

CGF Vice President, HRH Tunku Imran, speaking at the ceremony. Photo: zimbio.comThe 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.


Additional Quotes

HAMBANTOTA

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.”

GOLD COAST

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.

Source: www.insidethegames.com

By Duncan Mackay in Kuala Lumpur

Hambantota 2018 presenting bid book to Sri Lanka President. Photo: www.insidethegames.comHambantota 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.

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Source: www.commonwealthgames.ca

In the first year, there were three who went to the Caribbean and the Americas. In the second year, five more went to Africa. And now, in the third year of Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC)’s groundbreaking Capacity Support Program (CSP), 15 talented young Canadians will be placed throughout the Commonwealth—from the Caribbean and the Americas to Africa, Asia and Oceania.

This innovative sport development program, which launched as a pilot program in 2009, is co-funded by the Commonwealth Games Federation and, this year, by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Olympic Solidarity. Under the CSP, young Canadians with sport administration backgrounds are sent to work as Capacity Support Officers (CSOs) with Commonwealth Games Associations and National Olympic Committees in developing countries.

The program’s goal is to augment the sport management capabilities of these organizations, thus reinforcing CGC’s mandate of encouraging international development through sport. In addition to assisting their host organizations, seven CSP interns from the first and second years of the program worked as part of the Results Management Team during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi last October.

“We are extremely excited about this amazing group of young people who will be working as CSOs throughout the Commonwealth over the next year,” says Carla Thachuk, Director of International Programs at Commonwealth Games Canada. “Not only will our counterparts in these 15 countries benefit from the energy and expertise they bring, but the interns themselves will benefit from an international experience that will be invaluable to them as they go on to develop their careers.”
The third team of Capacity Support Officers—including four past CSOs who successfully reapplied to the program—and their assignments are:

Natalie Brett (the Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association): A native of Ottawa, Natalie holds a Master of Science in Sports Management from Bournemouth University in the U.K. and a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University in Montreal. Since 2009, she has been a Program Coordinator with KidsSport Ottawa.

Kristine Deacon (the Grenada Olympic Committee): A former competitive swimmer, Kristine has coached for the Cambridge Aquajets swim club in her hometown of Cambridge, Ont. since 2004. In 2010, she completed an Honours Arts degree in Canadian Studies and Global Studies at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, ON and volunteered at the Vancouver Olympics.

Chantelle Grant (the Bermuda National Olympic Committee): Chantelle grew up in Mississauga, Ont., and holds a Bachelor of Sport Management degree from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. A former competitive gymnast, Chantelle first travelled to Bermuda to work with its National Olympic Committee in 2009 in the first year of the Capacity Support Program.

Matt Hill (the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association): A former Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and avid sports fan, Hill is graduating this year with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo, Ont. The Burlington, Ont., native was actively involved at WLU as a student ambassador and has also worked for Tourism Burlington.

Stephanie Johnson (the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee): A resident of Sudbury, Ont., Johnson is in her final year of the Honours Bachelor of Commerce (Sports Administration) program at that city’s Laurentian University. In 2010, she interned at the Georgia State Games in Atlanta as an Event and Volunteer Co-ordinator, and later at at Capital Sports Management in Ottawa as a Program Manager.

Duane Louis (the Samoa Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee): A native of Victoria, B.C., Louis recently completed a year-long placement with the Swaziland Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association as part of the Capacity Support Program. He holds a Sport Management Diploma from Victoria’s Camosun College and, in addition to working with Aboriginal Team B.C. during the 2008 North American Indigenous Games, he was volunteer Technical Manager for the Africa Zone IV Games, held in Swaziland this past December.

Paddye Magill (the Seychelles National Olympic Committee): Magill, who grew up in Ottawa, Ont., is returning to Seychelles this year for a second placement under the Capacity Support Program. A former basketball coach and player, Magill completed her Bachelor of Sport Management degree at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., and previously worked at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre.

Ella Mawdsley (the Tonga Commonwealth Games Association): A former competitive biathlete, Mawdsley recently wrapped up a year-long placement with the Lesotho National Olympic Committee as part of the Capacity Support Program. Mawdsley, who grew up in Fort Smith, N.W.T., holds a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta and previously worked as an Account Manager for the Outcrop Communications Group, which has offices across northern Canada.

Wendy Moar (the Uganda Olympic Committee): Moar, who lives in Matlock, Man., has worked as Interlake Region Manager for Sport Manitoba since 2004. In addition to volunteering as accreditation manager for several hockey tournaments, Moar has coached cross-country running at the high-school level and earned a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Kathleen Reeves (the Turks & Caicos Commonwealth Games Association): Reeves, who hails from Ottawa, has a Master of Arts degree with a specialization in Sport Management and a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa, where she was also a Member of the Varsity Rugby team. An avid participant, official and volunteer for a wide array of sports, she has worked as Account Manager for the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club since 2008.

Jackie Snell (the Dominica Olympic Committee): A Victoria, B.C., native, Snell holds a Bachelor of Recreation and Health Education from the University of Victoria, where she was a member of the Varsity Soccer Team. Since earning her degree in 2010, she has held various positions within the University of Victoria’s Department of Athletics and Recreation, and worked in the Athletes’ Village during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Jordan Thomson (the Guyana National Olympic Committee): Currently a resident of Toronto, Thomson has worked with Right to Play since June 2010, first as a Program Coordinator and later as a Training Consultant. A former professional baseball player with the San Francisco Giants from 2004 to 2006, he holds a Master of Science, Sport and Recreation Business Management degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University in Boston.

Colin Whitmee (the Bahamas National Olympic Committee): Whitmee, who hails from Ottawa, has worked and volunteered for a variety of sport organizations, including Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada and the Ottawa Senators. He has a graduate certificate in Sport Business Management from Algonquin College in Ottawa as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. and previously taught English in South Korea.

Jessica Wolfenden (the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee): In 2009, Wolfenden graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine in Orono, where she won a full athletic scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 volleyball. Most recently, she has worked as a teacher with the Play House Learning Centre in her hometown of Ottawa, as well as a beach volleyball instructor and official with City of Ottawa—Parks and Recreation.

Denise Yuen (the Commonwealth Games Association of Sri Lanka): Since 2008, Yuen, who hails from Coquitlam, B.C., has worked as Manager of Community Development with Special Olympics British Columbia and currently volunteers as a snowboard instructor for Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports. She holds a Bachelors degree in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from that city’s Simon Fraser University.
The first three CSOs left Canada in September 2009 and completed their 14-month service in Bermuda, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago late last year. Five others returned from a year-long placement in the African countries of Lesotho, Swaziland, Seychelles, Zambia and Botswana in March of this year.
The next placements will run until from April 18, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

Source: www.ap.org

Suresh Camaldi. Photo courtesy: www.indianexpress.com.NEW DELHI -- Indian officials arrested the chief organizer of last year's Commonwealth Games and two other officials on Monday as part of a corruption investigation into the scandal-plagued competition in New Delhi.

India had hoped that the Games would help it herald its rise as a superpower, but instead it was deeply embarrassed by corruption allegations, construction delays and cost overruns as the budget ballooned to billions of dollars.

Organizing Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, the highest-ranking official arrested in the probe, has been charged with conspiracy for allegedly favoring a Swiss company in the purchase of equipment for timing and scoring events, Central Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Dharini Mishra said.

The bureau - the Indian equivalent of the FBI - claims the government was bilked out of 1.41 billion rupees ($31 million), paid to Swiss Timings Ltd. for equipment available from another company for much less.

The bureau said competition for the contract had been wrongfully restricted "in a premeditated and planned manner," with no clear criteria for selecting the winning bids and alleged coercion and threats against those making the final decision.

Two of Kalmadi's aides on the committee - Lalit Bhanot and V.K. Verma - were arrested last month in the same case.

Kalmadi is due to appear in court Tuesday for a custody hearing.

He was detained at the bureau's headquarters after answering investigators' questions Monday morning. Investigators then arrested two more officials - Surjit Lal and A.S.V. ( ASVI - news - people ) Prasad - and said more suspects would be taken into custody in coming days.

The staging of the Games - which cost India about 700 billion rupees ($15 billion) despite an initial estimate of 18.9 billion rupees ($412 million) - has unleashed months of bitter allegations and cries of corruption in the handling of the event.

Australian and British companies have accused the organizing committee of delaying payments for services rendered during the Oct. 3-14 Games.

An Indian government report last month said delays, administrative inefficiency and wasteful spending had cost the country $355 million.

The report has been criticized, however, by the London-based Commonwealth Games Federation as inaccurate and unfair. Switzerland-based Event Knowledge Services, which had been hired to work on the Games, also said the report was off base in making "unsubstantiated" accusations of wrongdoing.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: www.hambantota2018.com

The Co-Chair of Sri Lanka’s bid to host its first Commonwealth Games has arrived in London to showcase Hambantota 2018 at the SportAccord International Convention.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, also Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, is leading a delegation to the key fixture in the global sporting calendar.  More than 1,500 influential figures from international sport are gathered in the English capital until 8 April under the theme ‘Why Sport Matters’. Governor Cabraal himself sees sport as a catalyst for sustainable social and economic development and hopes to secure such benefits for the tear drop shaped nation.

He said: “Sport can be life-changing and transformational.  Its benefits reach beyond the track and field into the home, classroom and boardroom.   Education, health, infrastructure, tourism, culture, the economy and environment are all pillars of a legacy underpinning our bid.  It’s a legacy that will reach throughout our unified nation and across South Asia.  And it will be an inspiration to other emerging and developing nations and their people.”

Sri Lanka is continuing its rapid development following the end of internal conflict and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami; Hambantota is the fast-developing coastal city in the South coast region worst hit.  Major infrastructure upgrades are already taking place in the ‘new City’ including a sea port and second international airport; a high capacity public transport system and new road network are in the pipeline.  Work has also begun on the state-of-the-art Hambantota 2018 ‘Sports City’ which will feature 90 percent of the venues and facilities for the 2018 Games.  And a new seven-year National Sports Plan sets out to create a pyramid of sporting opportunity.

Governor Cabraal’s visit follows Sri Lanka’s key role in the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.  The co-hosts staged nine matches – including two in Hambantota itself – and reached a thrilling final on Saturday, losing to India.  The tournament showcased the nation’s passion for sport with its organisation, infrastructure, venues and fans receiving plaudits throughout.

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:

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.’

Source: Hambantota, Sri Lanka

A high profile delegation from Sri Lanka’s bid to host its first Commonwealth Games has arrived in Marrakech, Morocco, to present the case for Hambantota 2018 to the fifth African International Sports Convention (CISA).

The summit, which runs to 19 March, is a major feature in the African sporting calendar.  More than 300 sports professionals from across the globe are convened under the theme ‘Sport for Education & Development.’  Among them are representatives of all 19 African Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) who will be interested in synergies with Hambantota 2018’s own agenda, according to Nalin Attygalle, Chief Executive of the bid and who leads the delegation.

Mr Attygalle said: “Just as CISA aims to promote the development of African sport at school level, our bid recognises the intrinsic link between sports and education.  Sport can be life-changing and transformational.  A Hambantota Games will be a catalyst to work with schools and engage young people throughout our unified nation; we will create a pyramid of sporting opportunity in line with our new seven-year National Sports Plan.”

Education through sport is not the only goal shared by CISA and Hambantota 2018.  The conference also asks what it takes to run a bid; how major events can affect emerging cities’ development plans; and what benefits await a nation and its communities.  Sri Lanka itself wants a 2018 Games to secure long term and sustainable social and economic benefits as it continues its rapid development following the end of internal conflict and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami; Hambantota is the fast-developing coastal city in the South coast region worst hit.  And the tear drop shaped nation also hopes to break the mould of event bidding to be an inspiration for others. 

Mr Attygalle added: “As a developing nation, a key ambition of our bid campaign is to inspire other developing and emerging nations – and their people – throughout the Commonwealth.  It is not only large and advanced economies that should be considered as host cities of major events.  We will demonstrate that we have what it takes to host a truly unique and successful 2018 Games.  By doing so, we hope to open up the opportunity for other developing countries within the Commonwealth to bid for and stage the Games in the future.”

In demonstrating to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and all CGAs that it has the ability to host an exemplary event in 2018, the Hambantota bid commits to completing all of the venues and the entire infrastructure for the Games by December 2016.  The ‘new’ city will host the South Asian Games the same year which, together with further test events throughout 2017, will act as a dress rehearsal to ensure everything is ready well in advance of 2018.

Further synergies can be drawn between Hambantota and Marrakech itself.  Like many North African cities, the latter comprises both an old fortified city (the médina) and an adjacent modern city or ville nouvelle (Gueliz).  Hambantota too promises to offer visitors in 2018 the very best of both worlds: ‘old’ world charm, natural beauty, cultural splendours and heritage coupled with the vibrancy, diversity and excitement of a new city.  The populations are both also known for a tradition of hospitality, as depicted in the Hambantota 2018 emblem1 unveiled in January by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The trip is part of the Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee’s plans to visit Commonwealth countries in all six regions – Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, America and the Caribbean – before submitting its Candidature File or ‘Bid Book’ in Kuala Lumpur on 11 May.  Accompanying Mr Attygalle are Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Media and Mr Hemasiri Fernando, President NOC/CGA Sri Lanka.  A delegation last month met CGAs from the Caribbean and Americas at the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) in Veracruz, Mexico.

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 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 logo and strapline are available on request as jpeg and/or eps files.

For further information on Hambantota 2018 visit www.hambantota2018.com
The 19 CGAs attending CISA are:
Botswana
Cameroon
Ghana
Kenya
Lesotho
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Rwanda
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
The Gambia
Uganda
Zambia

 

Source: www.insidethegames.com

By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Delhi 2010 Organizing CommitteeSuresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, is set to be arrested for his involvement in the corruption linked to the event, it has been claimed by the media in India.

The claims were made as his two closest aides, Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma, the secretary general and the director general respectively of the Organising Committee, were appearing in a court in Delhi charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption in in connection with a $24 million (£15 million) contract awarded to Swiss Timing.

They were remanded for five days but Kalmadi hit back claiming that Government officials were just as involved in the preparations for the Games as the Organising Committee.

"Only officials of the Organising Committee are being called for questioning by the investigative agencies," said Kalmadi.

"The entire process seems to be against the officials who have worked with the Organising Committee for many years.

"No decision related to the Games was taken alone by anyone.

"So I am shocked that investigative agencies are only calling the officers of the organising committee and that no Government officers have so far been called by them.

"I don't understand that when all the details are with the investigating agencies, all documents are with them, then whyare they only calling the Organising Comiittee officials.

"Organising Committee members are only being targeted, why not others involved in the decision making.

"We want this thing to become clear when all the papers are with the agencies."

Kalmadi, who is President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), claimed that all the decisions to do with the Games had been approved by the Executive Board, consisting of senior Central and Delhi Government officers.

"I would like to state that all the decisions had been made by the members of the Executive Board and not alone by the Organising Committee members," he said.

"It's not the decision made by any individual.

"Nowhere decisions were made by the members of the Organising Committee.

"There was the finance sub-committee, finance committee and the Executive Board.

"They all have senior Government officers.

"They all were participatory in the decision-making process.

"The executive board [of the Organising Committee] comprisedtwo officers from Government of India, two from Delhi Government, three officials from Commonwealth federations and then IOA people, including myself and Randhir [Singh, the secretary general].

"So it was a very balanced team, and all decisions have been taken unanimously.

"Everybody was part of it and the Union Sports Ministry has been also part of the decision-making process at every step.

"There was no case where we people differed. So again I ask why only the Organising Committee is being singled out."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised that anyone convicted of being involved in corruption would be punished.

"There were complaints of wrong-doings even before the Games and from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had promised that if a wrong thing has been done, we will investigate the matter," he said.

"If found guilty, no one will be spared."

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled the logo for Sri Lanka’s bid for ‘Commonwealth Games 2018 Hambantota’ at Temple TreesHambantota are reportedly paying British firm pmplegacy, part of the London-based Chime Communications, at least Rs. 336 million (£1.9 million) to help its the 2018 Commonwealth Games, according to Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage (pictured left).

"In order to prepare the bid documents for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and for promotional campaigns we have offered the contract to a British PR Firm pmplegacy," Aluthgamage is reported saying the Sunday Leader.

"The exact amount is known to Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal as he is the chairman of the organising committee that handles the finances."

The Sunday Leader claimed that the money will come out of the Rs. 500 million (£2.8 million) Sri Lanka is paying public relations firm Bell Pottinger, another firm who are part of Chime, to boost its post-war image.

Its stablemate, pmplegacy, has a long and distinguished 25-year track record of working with leading cities around the world on the evaluation, bidding, planning and delivery of major sporting events.

The company has worked on a wide range of major events while some of its high-profile clients include the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Fifteen representatives from this pmplegacy are now said to be in Sri Lanka working on full time basis as they prepare the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid document from their Rajagiriya office.

Hambantota are up against Australia's Gold Coast in their bid to secure the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a decision set to be made on where the event will be held at a meeting in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11.

According to Aluthgamage, the deal with pmplegacy covers the cost for bid documentation, promotional campaigns, canvassing and entertainment costs.

"We will be holding the Asian Beach Games at Hambantota in August," he said.

"This would certainly help to boost the country's image.

"In addition the Cricket Board, the Foreign Ministry, Football Federation and National Olympic Committee are working closely to get support from the Commonwealth countries

The Sports Minister claimed that it is essential to raise awareness that Sri Lanka is no longer a war ravaged country.

"People in some countries fear to visit Sri Lanka," he said.

"We have to change this attitude.

"This can only be done through promotional campaigns."

If Sri Lanka wins the bid, the cost of hosting the games is expected to be a mammoth Rs. 500 billion (£3.12 million) which will mainly go towards building new stadia and constructing the Athletes' Village.

Peter Mann, the founder and chair of pmplegacy, told insidethegames: "Any figure agreed between the Hambantota 2018 bid team and pmplegacy is completely confidential."


 

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