SPORT

Durban impresses with Commonwealth venue

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Third and final Commonwealth Games delegation was impressed with the selected venues for the proposed event in Durban in 2022.

Delegates from the Americas and the Caribbean, the third and final Commonwealth in -bound delegation, were impressed with the proposed venues for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The group, consisting of 17 members of the Commonwealth Games Federation, are in the City on a four-day visit. They arrived on Tuesday, 4 August 2015.

Their visit follows a report released on Monday, 3 August, by the Commonwealth Games Federation Evaluation Commission recommending that the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly should vote in favour of Durban to host the Games. This however, does not mean Durban has been awarded the bid and processes will still be followed.

The decision will be announced on 2 September 2015, in New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games Federation Annual General Assembly. Alfred Emmanuel, a delegate from St Lucia, in the Caribbean said the planning for the Games had been well thought out.

“Organisers will be building lots of temporary structures such as seating which will ensure there will be no white elephants left once the Games are over. Coming from a small country with limited resources I see that planners are mitigating a lot of costs while intending to put on a brilliant Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Felix Wilson from Dominica, also in the Caribbean said Durban would be the ideal place to host the Games and that this is his third visit to the country. “There are many sporting facilities in close proximity to each other. Durban is exceptional and I can only imagine the festivities if the Games are held here. Hospitality and warmth of people is what I look at, and Durban has that, definitely,” he said.

The group today inspected proposed venues including the Rachel Finlayson Pool, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban International Convention Centre, Durban Exhibition Centre and the Beachfront Promenade.

Mayor James Nxumalo said most of the sports activities are within the 2.5 kilometre radius of the Kings Park Sporting Precinct and most of the sporting codes will be accommodated at the precinct, which is located in close proximity to key amenities.

“We believe the Games provide great prospects for economic growth. We expect the Games to deliver up to R20 billion in outputs to the economy, which translates to an estimated R11 billion Gross Domestic Product growth. The upgrades we will implement in some of our facilities will enhance our modern infrastructure,” said Nxumalo.

The delegation will inspect other venues including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Queensmead Hockey Stadium, Collegians lawn bowls and the Cascade Mountain Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg in the next two days.

Tozi Mthethwa

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