CWG officials optimistic about India hosting 2010 Games
NEW DELHI: Officials of member countries of the Commonwealth Games Federation (GGF) for the General Assembly sounded optimistic about India successfully hosting the 2010 Games.
A section of the CGF feels the apprehensions raised by chairman Mike Fennel are valid while others are of the view that some concerns are unfounded since the event is still 12 months away.
Peter Heatley, ex-chairman of the CGF, sees no reason why New Delhi can't host a successful Commonwealth Games October 3-14 next year.
"I'm not aware of Mr. Fennel's concerns but what I have seen in little time, I am very encouraged with the enthusiasm I see from all the volunteers. I know it is a big job to get ready on time. The race for an organising committee is a race against time. And I am sure India will win," Heatly said on Wednesday.
The Scot said there are some concerns among the member countries but he felt everything would fall in place.
"Every country hosts the Games in its own way. India's Games will be different from other Games hosted by other countries," he said.
Incidentally, under Heatley's chairmanship the most controversial Commonwealth Games were hosted in 1986 in his hometown of Edinburgh. The 1986 Games, hosted for the second time in Edinburgh, became famous for boycott by 32 countries over Britain's sporting links then with apartheid South Africa.
Recalling his experience during the Edinburgh Games, Heatly said: "The Games were boycotted by quite a number of countries. But still we went on and the Games were a huge success. With my experience of organising Games in Edinburg, I know in all probability New Delhi Games will be the best."
"The great thing about the Commonwealth Games is that with every Games the number of participation goes up. And next year India will have maximum number of competitors," he said.
The Scot hoped India would address the security concerns in the best possible way.
"Security is an important part of the Games. Every country has to provide different levels of security depending on the situation. And I am sure India is doing everything in its power. But that won't stop us from coming to the Games or enjoying it. And security is something you have to do thoroughly in the back zone," he said.
Heatley's concerns were shared by Ephraim Penn, president of British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee.
"Everybody has security concerns and we are following closely what is happening in this part of the world. The Mumbai terror strikes and the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore have caused some discomfort among the member countries," he said.
But Penn seemed confident and said that 'national pride' will act as a catalyst in boosting India's chances of hosting a spectacular 19th Commonwealth Games.
"As the Commonwealth Games near the starting date, the national pride will force India to deliver the best ever Games since 1930. We all have a gut feel it's surely going to happen properly," he said.
Penn pointed out that the challenges faced by India are similar to those faced by other countries in the past.
"All countries who have hosted the Commonwealth Games have faced such challenges while organising the Games. We are optimistic that the Games are going to happen, and hope that India will come together to make it a huge success. The benefits of organising the Games might not be instant but it definitely leaves a legacy behind," he said.
Vidya Lakhan, president of Fiji's Olympic committee, said that her country does not have any concerns and will give full support to India.