POSTED: March 22nd 2011

Hambantota sports city is model venue with Commonwealth Games focus

The model for the Hambantota 2018 sports city is shown to Commonwealth Games Federation ceo Mike Hooper (2nd from right) / Hambantota 2018
The model for the Hambantota 2018 sports city is shown to Commonwealth Games Federation ceo Mike Hooper (2nd from right) / Hambantota 2018

ALAN LAFLEUR / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/HAMBANTOTA, Mar 22: It is rare that you hear of a recovery story like Hambantota. The coastal city in Sri Lanka was devastated by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

However what Hambantota has not only rebuilt what they lost but have made the coastal city better than it was before.

The major infrastructural development after the tsunami will include a new international airport, a world class seaport, a rail system, and a highway system connecting to Colombo.

Another way that Hambantota is restructuring the city is through sport. After the tsunami the city built the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, a cricket stadium that was built for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

The city is also bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games against Gold Coast, Australia.

For the games, Hambantota will build a Sports City that will feature: an athletics stadium, hockey stadium, international aquatics centre, international sports complex, indoor arena, velodrome, 18-hole golf course, exhibition centre and a state-of-the-art Games Village. 

The venue plans, if they come to fruition, will make Hambantota a premier destination for sport training and competition.

Mike Hooper, ceo of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), was at the unveiling of the Sports City large-scale model.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal,  Hambantota 2018 Organizing Committee co-chairman and governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, said: “We are honored that Mike Hooper can be with us for a glimpse into the future of sport in Sri Lanka.  The infrastructure planned for Hambantota – including the state-of-the-art Sports City – is the beginning of a sporting renaissance. 

“Hambantota will become a new world venue for sport offering the very best warm weather training hub, superb competition facilities and a national centre of coaching excellence.”

Within the Olympic and Commonwealth Games bidding processes the focus is usually on leaving a legacy. Hambantota understands this and not only are they planning to revolutionize the sports landscape of Sri Lanka but have included education into the infrastructure plans.

The model showed that the Sports City will include two universities that will have a big emphasis in sports, business and media. The city also includes a Business Enterprise Park and an IT Park.

The Sports City aims to be ready by December 2016 and will be ready for hosting test events and training by 2017, a year before hosting the Commonwealth Games.

The vote for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11.

Keywords · Commonwealth Games · Hambantota 2018 · Mike Hooper · Ajith Nivard Cabraal

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