'Hambantota a risk'

10 July 2011 08:54 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Representatives of the 71 Commonwealth nations assessing the Gold Coast's bid for the 2018 Games are being advised not to ''take a risk'' by awarding the event to the developing Sri Lankan city of Hambantota.

''After the difficulties in Delhi, it's not the time to take risks; that's the subtle message we'll be sending the delegates,'' the chief executive of the Gold Coast 2018 bid, Mark Peters, said.

Delegates are rotating through the Gold Coast in regional blocs: the Africans were on the Gold Coast last weekend for the city's marathon, and in 10 days the Oceania region arrives, and will be treated to a Titans rugby league match.

Recently, the Commonwealth Games Evaluation Committee visited both the Gold Coast and Hambantota, the only rivals for the 2018 Games.

The Gold Coast has long been considered the frontrunner but Hambantota's bid has been gaining momentum. As Sri Lanka emerges from a 20-year civil war, Hambantota's pitch is that winning the Games would kick-start development in an area that was devastated by the 2004 tsunami.

''A lot of Commonwealth countries are developing nations; they may vote for political reasons,'' Kristine Toohey, Griffith University's sports management professor, and the communications services manager for the Sydney Olympics, said.

''There is sentiment for the Sri Lankan bid, using it as a kick-start [for the economy]. Developing nations often support other developing nations … sometimes people like to give the underdog a chance.''

Mr Peters is conscious that nations seeking to develop through sport have received the backing of other Commonwealth countries in the past.

''At the end of the day the delegates want to have a good Games; they want to have an exciting Games,'' he said. ''We have everything here. Nothing exists at the moment in Hambantota. They have to make a judgment - do they take a risk?''

Hambantota has so far built only one facility whereas the Gold Coast is already a sports training ground for 38 countries, and has many established venues such as Skilled Park and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. It would make temporary upgrades to some infrastructure for the Games, and new facilities would be reworked for residential and community uses after the event.

But like Hambantota, the Gold Coast hopes the Games would prove transformative. The Coast is experiencing its worst economic downturn in memory. Hosting the Games would showcase Surfers Paradise to the world, Mr Peters said. (The Border Mail)
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  Comments - 9

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  • ranjith Sunday, 10 July 2011 11:04 AM

    Few fellows will the development benefits as in the past.

    Lal Sunday, 10 July 2011 03:30 PM

    ha ha ha We can not even have 24 hours electricity and talking about big sports events hoooooooooo

    Sheik Sunday, 10 July 2011 09:13 AM

    If we throw some money to the delegates like Qatar did to get the FIFA 2022 world cup. The question is. Do we really need Commonwealth games to develop any cities in Sri Lanka?

    UK TAMIL BOY Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:15 AM

    DREAMS ARE BIG BUT THINGS ARE SMALL

    Mayu Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:25 AM

    wel done.

    Sooner capital and parliament also will be shifted to Hambantota.

    Tharaka Chanaka Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:30 AM

    Millions of our tax payers money will now be thrown for this, while the general public stay at home without power...

    uglytruth Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:43 AM

    Sad to hear...this all what Sri Lankans needed more than all...

    Royalist Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:42 AM

    There goes the pocket money...

    Niyas Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:50 AM

    T H A N K GODDDDDDD........


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