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TT eyes 2018 Commonwealth Games bid

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Sunday, November 29 2009

click on pic to zoom in
Suresh Kalmadi, Indian Member of Parliament. ...
Suresh Kalmadi, Indian Member of Parliament. ...

PRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning yesterday announced to a closed-door CHOGM sports breakfast meeting that he wants to bid to have this country host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

This was revealed to reporters by chairman of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi, India Suresh Kalmadi at a media briefing at Level 5, International Financial Centre (IFC) Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

Kalmadi said that along with TT’s bid, Nigeria and Australia are also bidding for the 2018 games.

Kalmadi expressed much pride at having New Delhi host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, saying: “in the 60 years of our Independence, this is the first time we are hosting the Commonwealth Games, so it is very special to us.”

He revealed that so far, the Indian government has spent US$2 billion to prepare for the games. He added that there will also be the creation of almost 2.5 million jobs as a result of hosting the games.

“The games are expected to create an enormous employment opportunity for close to 2.5 million jobs. Delhi will host over 100,000 tourists during the games.”

On the economic impact the games would have on India, Kalmadi estimated that between 2010 and 2012, India stands to earn approximately US$4.5 billion. “Truly, it is said a city moves ahead five to ten years when a global sports event takes place.

India will no doubt be firmly entrenched on the sports map of the world in the future,” Kalmadi said. “India is looking to further bolster trade and business relations with other Commonwealth nations via this mega sports event, through the formation of the Business Club India, which will conduct a series of events and road shows in important Commonwealth destinations coinciding with the travelling baton relay in major cities around the world,” he added.

Given the current downturn in the global economy, Kalmadi expressed no fear of a lack of sponsorship.

“We expect to pay our loans through sponsors and advertising. We are confident that we will be funded by sponsors because they have already come forward.” Commonwealth Delhi 2010 organising committee sports secretary Sindushree Khullar reassured that preparations were coming along for this major event. With respect to travelling arrangements and the addressing of the severe traffic issue that occurs in Delhi, Khullar said the games will run from June 3 to 14 and the Indian government has already declared June 14 a public holiday.

She added that they have asked all vehicle owners to leave their vehicles at home and make use of the bus and metro transportation.

With respect to security concerns, Kalmadi admitted that it was a serious concern and assured that they will be making the necessary security arrangements and anticipate that the event will be incident free.

When asked about whether or not Fiji (which has been suspended from the Commonwealth) will be allowed to participate in the games, Kalmadi said this issue was up to Michael Fennel, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, to decide.



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