The Commonwealth Games Federation’s Coordination Commission has spent the past three days in Delhi, evaluating preparations for the Commonwealth Games that get underway in the Indian capital on October 3rd next year.
The Coordination Commission, chaired by CGF Honorary Treasurer, Austin Sealy from Barbados, received detailed presentations from a range of key functional areas, including accreditation, village operations, security, technology, transport and venue operations. Mr. Sealy also undertook visits to all competition venues.
The Commission also received reports from the various venue construction agencies on the progress of competition venues, the athletes’ village, and other Games’ infrastructure projects.
The Coordination Commission was expanded by three members for this visit, its sixth to Delhi, to provide direct representation to the CGF member associations, those responsible for bringing the athletes of the Commonwealth to the Games.
The additional members are: Perry Crosswhite, Chief Executive of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association; Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Council of Wales, and; Gideon Sam, President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
Other members of the commission are CGF Vice-President Bruce Robinson (Canada), CGF legal advisor Sharad Rao (Kenya), and CGF Chief Executive Mike Hooper.
The Coordination Commission will now report to the CGF and the Organising Committee (OC). The CGF President, Mr. Michael Fennell, will be arriving in Delhi on Friday to have discussions with the key members of the OC on the critical issues that have been identified by the Commission.
Mr. Sealy said that he was pleased to note that there had been clear progress in a number of areas since September.
“We received detailed reports from the Organising Committee across key areas where we had previously identified delivery risks. These reports show an increased awareness of the work that must be undertaken,” Mr Sealy said.
“Each session was extensive, with opportunities for us to question the OC and government and to provide feedback. There was a sharing of information. It was very much a two-way street.”
“It was certainly helpful to have the representatives of the Commonwealth Games Associations who will bring their athletes to Delhi as part of this CoCom. Each of them has vast experience of what are the specific needs of their athletes and their teams during the lead-in and competition period.”
“There was a sense of energy and urgency from Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of the OC, and the entire Delhi team about getting on with the job, which is a positive, and it is clear that everyone is committed to making these Games a success.”
“There has been noticeable progress over the last two months, however, with effectively only nine months remaining, the intensity must continue, and in fact, works must be further accelerated.”
Mr Sealy noted the Commission was concerned that the timetable for venue completion has, in most cases, been extended by at least three months since the September forecast, and, in some cases, it seems venues will not be handed over to the OC until June.
“We urge the construction agencies to ensure that no further delays are encountered as this will place the OC in a difficult position and compromise final preparations and Games readiness,” Mr. Sealy said.
“As for the other outcomes of our meetings, a series of action items have been identified by the CoCom and will be summarised in the Commission’s final report on this meeting.”
The CGF President will brief the media before departing India on Sunday, December 20th.