POSTED: July 1st 2011

Hambantota 2018 inspirational for rebuilding the country

Louise Martin and Mike Hooper meet the press following the four day evaluation / Hambantota 2018
Louise Martin and Mike Hooper meet the press following the four day evaluation / Hambantota 2018

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/HAMBANTOTA, Jul 01: The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) carried out their four day perusal visit to Hambantota this week and gave the Sri Lankan bid good marks. Hambantota is competing against the Gold Coast for the 2018 campaign for the Commonwealth Games.

The five member commission led by Louise Martin, included Gideon Sam, President South Africa Sports Confederation and National Olympic Committee, Erskine Simmons, Secretary General Barbados Olympic Committee, Andrew Ryan, Executive Director, ASOIF, and Mike Hooper, CGF CEO. The evaluation commission held high-level discussions with representatives of federal, district and local governments and senior representatives of the bid team during its visit.

Martin said in a statement,“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.

“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.”

Martin also noted on the fact that the country has great aspirations to rebuild itself after the devastation from the tsunami in December of 2004 that ravaged much of the country. By gaining the Commonwealth Games, this would bring much hope to the region for regeneration.

“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 final report will be released on both cities on October 11th just one month prior to the final vote in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11th at the general assembly.

Currently the CGF African region group will visit the Gold Coast this weekend with 17 delegates start their inspection tour. They will spend three days in presentations and venue visits for their own evaluation.

Unlike the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the CGF allows for visits to the bid cities.

Keywords · Hambantota 2018 · Commonwealth Games Federation · Louise Martin · Sri Lanka

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