Two cities, Gold Coast in Australia and Hambantota in Sri Lanka, are gearing up for the lodgement of their official bids to host 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.”