With less than a month to go before Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) members vote to award the hosting rights to the XXII Commonwealth Games, the formal evaluation of Durban’s bid has been published. The report recommends that the CGF General Assembly votes to award the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the Host City of Durban, South Africa. The report of the CGF Evaluation Commission, chaired by CGF Honorary Secretary Louise Martin CBE, is the outcome of detailed independent consideration of Durban’s Candidate City File (submitted on 2 March 2015), on-site meetings and detailed review workshops with Durban 2022 and its government and city partners. For the first time, and consistent with Transformation 2022, the CGF’s new strategic plan, the Evaluation Commission also mapped out a range of key steps to be taken by Durban 2022 and the CGF during the first 90 and 180 days after the vote.
Evaluation Commission Chair, Louise Martin CBE, says: ‘The sole focus on Durban 2022 has enabled the Evaluation Commission to undertake a constructive and collaborative, rather than simply comparative, assessment of Durban and South Africa’s inspiring ambition to host the first Commonwealth Games on African soil. We have also worked closely with Durban 2022, their public authorities and political leaders to craft the beginnings of an effective and pragmatic delivery partnership. We all have much work to do and the CGF’s intention is to follow its strategic directions, as outlined in Transformation 2022, and be an active and value-adding partner to Durban 2022.’ The report, distributed to CGF members earlier today, Monday 3 August, commends and highlights the many positive impacts of Durban’s bid for the Games. Durban’s vision supports and contributes to South Africa’s 2030 National Development Plan and is rooted in the desire to engage citizens (especially young people), athletes and the Commonwealth.
The Games concept features a compact venue plan centred around the sporting super-precinct of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and adjacent coastline, providing excellent opportunities for innovative sport presentation and enhanced athlete experience. The Opening Ceremony would take place on a national holiday, Mandela Day (Monday 18 July, 2022). The Evaluation Commission Report also highlights a range of initial actions to be taken by Durban 2022 and the CGF.
These recommendations, developed with Durban 2022, augment the initial bid proposition and reinforce delivery of a world class Commonwealth Games in an inspiring and exciting host city and country. Martin continued: ‘We are 95% there, and very close to the finish line. We thank our colleagues in Durban and South Africa for their passion, ambition and assurances that many of our comments and requirements will be actioned in time for the vote. It is our recommendation that the CGF General Assembly votes to award the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the Host City of Durban, South Africa, but subject to the final and timely delivery of a limited number of outstanding Host City Contract requirements.’
The CGF Evaluation Commission analysed the Candidature File submitted by Durban on 2 March, and made on-site inspections from 27 to 30 April. In collaboration with the bid team, the Evaluation Commission examined the 12 themes of the CGF’s candidature questionnaire, which includes topics such as vision, venues, legacy, transport, finance and sustainability. In addition to the Chair, Martin, the Evaluation Commission also comprises David Grevemberg, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Federation; Andrew Ryan, Executive Director, ASOIF (The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and former Glasgow 2014 and current Gold Coast 2018 Coordination Commission member; Ian Hooper, Director of Sport and Infrastructure, Glasgow Life and Maxwell De Silva, Secretary General, Sri Lankan Commonwealth Games
Association. Regional clusters of Commonwealth Games Associations have also recently carried out their own inbound visits to Durban to experience first-hand the Games preparations, venues and infrastructure and to inform their vote, which takes place at the CGF General Assembly on 2 September, in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA