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Games-Fennell to retire as Commonwealth Games Federation president

MUMBAI Aug 13 (Reuters) - Michael Fennell will retire from his role as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) after 17 years and is set to be replaced by Malaysia's Prince Tunku Imran, the CGF said on Saturday.

Fennell, 76, who has overseen the last four Commonwealth Games, will not seek re-election at the CGF general assembly in St Kitts in November, the CGF said in a statement.

Imran, 63, who has served 11 years on the CGF board as the vice-president, was the only nominee for the top post, the statement added.

Last year's Delhi Games was probably the toughest assignment for Jamaican Fennell with chaotic preparations and a series of organisational blunders hogging the limelight in the lead-up to the event.

Indian federal agencies are still investigating the 2010 Games local organisers for corruption allegations which have transformed into major political wranglings.

The elections for the CGF executive board will be held on Nov. 11, when the 71 member nations will also vote to decide between Australia's Gold Coast or Sri Lanka's Hambantota as to who should host the 2018 Games.

The 2014 Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Reuters

Anyone think this'll have any bearing on future bidders. Or are we still locked into GC-Durban for the next two cycles anyway?

It's be good to see Singapore bid. But would the Malaysians support a Singers bid, or work to thwart it?

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Anyone think this'll have any bearing on future bidders. Or are we still locked into GC-Durban for the next two cycles anyway?

It's be good to see Singapore bid. But would the Malaysians support a Singers bid, or work to thwart it?

I think this will shift it towards Hambantota. After reading around I believe Hambantota will upset the Gold Coast for 2018. (This is not what I want though).

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The thing is Canada-Caribbean and Oceania support GC, so that is 32 of 71 votes. Add it Saint Helena and the Falklands and that is 34, and Europe is likely to support Australia over Sri Lanka so the result looks to be 42-29 Gold Coast.

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The thing is Canada-Caribbean and Oceania support GC, so that is 32 of 71 votes. Add it Saint Helena and the Falklands and that is 34, and Europe is likely to support Australia over Sri Lanka so the result looks to be 42-29 Gold Coast.

I'd be surprised if Hambantota got even that much. Getting into double figures at all would be an achievement.

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I'd be surprised if Hambantota got even that much. Getting into double figures at all would be an achievement.

I posted a video earlier where the NOC of Sri Lanka claimed to have majority of the votes.

Besides Europe/Canada/Oceania you can't really allocate any votes to Australia. (28 votes)

The Caribbean/Africa will likely vote in a block and thats (38 votes)

Asia (7 Votes)

So right now the Caribbean/Africa hold the power and both could be inclined to vote for Sri Lanka as they are developing just like Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is an island etc.. The Caribbean apparently praised the compactness of the bid during their visit.

Go Gold Coast!!

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The Caribbean/Africa will likely vote in a block and thats (38 votes)

Why would they do that? They didn't even vote in block for Abuja - and that was always a more likely proposition for them that Hambantota.

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Why would they do that? They didn't even vote in block for Abuja - and that was always a more likely proposition for them that Hambantota.

I mean separately 19 votes each, and the Caribbean did vote in a bloc for the 2015 Pan Am Games, so its not a stretch.

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I mean separately 19 votes each, and the Caribbean did vote in a bloc for the 2015 Pan Am Games, so its not a stretch.

Well, don't overestimate so-called cultural voting blocs. In both the IOC and groups like the CGF, sure, some members will vote along cultural/bloc lines - but far more will vote for a myriad of other reasons.

If cultural or geographic blocs were all powerful, the Olympics would never leave Europe, and the CWGs would never leave Africa.

Edited by Sir Rols
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Well, don't overestimate so-called cultural voting blocs. In both the IOC and groups like the CGF, sure, some members will vote along cultural/bloc lines - but far more will vote for a myriad of other reasons.

If cultural or geographic blocs were all powerful, the Olympics would never leave Europe, and the CWGs would never leave Africa.

Perhaps you are right, I was probably over thinking it, but the Caribbean does control where the Pan.Ams. Go.

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting swansong editorial by Fennel:

I just want to be remembered as someone who made a contribution says Fennell

On November 11, 2011, in St Kitts and Nevis, at precisely 6pm local time, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Mike Fennell will open an envelope to reveal whether Australia's Gold Coast or Hambantota in Sri Lanka will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The announcement, which will come at the end of the CGF General Assembly on the two-island nation, will undoubtedly bring joy for one candidate city and despair for the other but for Fennell himself the eagerly anticipated moment at the St Kitts Marriott Resort will be bittersweet regardless of the outcome.

This is because the announcement will be the 76-year-old Jamaican's last official act as CGF President and following the conclusion of the gathering in Caribbean, he will immediately stand down from the role and hand over the reins to current CGF vice-president Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia - the only candidate standing for the prestigious position of President.

The moment will be a sad one for the CGF as Fennell has led the organisation for 17 years and overseen four consecutive successful Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, Manchester in 2002, Melbourne in 2006 and, most recently, Delhi in 2010.

Admittedly, Delhi was plagued by controversy in both the build up and aftermath of the event but the Games themselves were certainly a success and the corruption charges that continue to surround the Organising Committee and its highly suspect former chairman, Suresh Kalmadi (pictured above with Fennell), are an altogether a different issue.

But despite the problems, Fennell perhaps emerged from the event in the Indian capital with even more credit than he entered with after he appeared to be the one individual refusing to panic or bow to pressure despite the major worries over security fears and construction delays.

It is perhaps no surprise that the CGF President was such a remarkable figure of calm during the height of the Delhi problems as it was his not first major challenge in the role.

Indeed, his greatest task came when he was first elected to the position 17 years ago following the conclusion of the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games - also referred to as the "Lightweight Games".

There was no major problem with the event in the Canadian city but it was widely considered a "Minimalist Games" featuring only small, temporary venues and therefore proved rather a letdown following a superb Commonwealth Games in Auckland four years earlier.

So following the event in Victoria, Fennell took charge of the CGF from Scotland's Sir Peter Heatly with everything to do in order to stop the Commonwealth Games from disappearing into the background and becoming a non-event.

Four blockbuster editions of the competition later, the Commonwealth Games is now well and truly back in business and right near the top of the pile when it comes to major, large scale global sporting events - something that is in no small part down to Fennell's considerable influence.

The Jamaican has not forgotten how much things have changed for the Commonwealth Games Movement in the last 17 years and it is something that he quickly brings up as we sit down to talk in the impressive surroundings at the InterContinental Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico on the sidelines of the 2011 Pan American Games taking place in the city.

"Certainly when I first took on the position, it was quite a challenge because the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Games Movement was rather in limbo," Fennell told me, looking extremely relaxed at the fact he will soon be relinquishing an extremely powerful position in international sport.

"I have always been a hands on person, which was very much required when I first came to office because of the worrying situation we were in.

"I quickly realised that it was important to build our relationships with international federations, the athletes and of course our own members to make sure that the Commonwealth Games didn't become isolated, which at the time, it appeared in danger of becoming.

"So due to the fact that I was, and still am, so heavily involved in international sport around the world [Fennell (pictured below with Asafa Powell) is currently the Jamaican Olympic Association President and the Pan American Games Organisation first vice president], I was able to build and sustain those vital relationships.

"Certainly I am very proud of the relationships we have been able to build in my time in charge and subsequently the level of recognition we have achieved for the Commonwealth Games.

"I think I have been fairly successful, along with my colleagues, to change the perception of our organisation for the better and today we have a very viable situation, which seemed a long, long way off back then.

"Certainly, having served all those terms and headed the Games in Kuala Lumpur, Manchester, Melbourne and more recently Delhi, I have done my stint - if you want to call it that - and it is time for others to take it on which is why I am not seeking re-election for another four-year term.

"But it isn't exactly the end for me as I'm still going to be very heavily involved in sport.

"It is only the Commonwealth Games Federation position I am retiring from."

Under Fennell, the Commonwealth Games has become a highly sought after competition with multiple bidders rather than the one-horse race it was before his reign began.

The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games in particular - which proved the cornerstone of London's successful bid of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics - truly put the event on the map and it is just one reason why the race for the 2018 competition between the Gold Coast and Hambantota is so close.

"Both Gold Coast and Hambantota have put forward such fantastic bids in this latest race," Fennell said.

"They are very different in terms of concept and approach but they are certainly two very, very exciting bids. I would be delighted to see the 2018 Commonwealth Games go to either Gold Coast or Hambantota because I feel they could both stage fantastic competitions.

"I feel very happy that the Commonwealth Games has reached a stage where we can attract two superb bids like these. They are both very professionally put together and both very focused on promoting the values of the Commonwealth Games and enhancing the Commonwealth Games Movement. I think it is excellent.

"Ultimately, it is up to our 71 member nations and territories to decide on where the event will be held but I will be happy whatever the outcome because they are both highly competent to put on the Commonwealth Games."

The job of ultimately ensuring that the 2018 Commonwealth Games are successfully delivered will fall primarily to the Jamaican's successor Prince Tunku (pictured), but Fennell is confident that the 63-year-old is up to the task.

"He is a seasoned sports administrator," said the Jamaican.

"He has held a number of senior positions in world sport as he has previously been President of the World Squash Federation (WSF) and an Executive Board member of the International Cricket Council ([iCC). He also is the President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and has been a CGF vice-president for 11 years. So that is certainly a very competent base from which to start.

"But perhaps just as important for the Commonwealth Games Federation is the team I have left in place.

"We have got a fantastic chief executive in Mike Hooper who is more than capable of continuing the tremendous work he has done in the past and leading the team going forwards.

"To my mind, the Commonwealth Games Federation is a particularly well-oiled machine. We have very few people but we have achieved fantastic results to date.

"I mean, where we are today is light years ahead of where we were when I started.

"But there are challenges confronting the new administration going forward.

"The Commonwealth Games operates on a five-year plan so we do have a road map in place to see where we are going but it is crucial to continually look at it and to plot the future to see how the Commonwealth Games fits in with this very complex, congested and competitive world of sport where everybody wants their slice of the cake.

"So the plan for the future must always be monitored and adapted to ensure the continued success of the Commonwealth Games."

Fennell also revealed what he feels was the key to his successful time in charge.

"Perhaps the most satisfying and successful element of my tenure is that we still have that factor of being the 'Friendly Games' in this fiercely competitive world," he said.

"I really want to emphasise that point. It is central to what we do and what we stand for because we are all aware of the difficulties we faced in Delhi with the organisation and the venues and so on.

"Ultimately, we still managed to celebrate a successful Games but the high point for me was that all the athletes in Delhi were extremely pleased with the friendliness aspect and how they were treated throughout their time in India.

"We always talk in the sporting world and say we are here for the athletes but sometimes, at some competitions, that is not demonstrated at all. But at the Commonwealth Games we really do make it a focal point and Glasgow in 2014 is again going to be an athlete centred Games first and foremost.

"That is what I am most proud of and that is what the new administration must keep in mind if the Commonwealth Games is to continue to be a success and stand out uniquely in the world of sport."

So, as the end of his 17-year reign fast approaches, Fennell (pictured) appears both happy and confident to hand over the CGF baton.

He will certainly not be forgotten though, and, following his official handover to Prince Tunku, he will receive the honour of becoming a CGF life vice president.

After nearly two decades in charge, where he has led the Commonwealth Games Movement from the doldrums to great prosperity, I ask how he would like to be remembered for his time as President.

Not one ever to seek the limelight, the modest Fennell simply smiles at my question.

"Just as someone who was there and someone made his contribution," he said.

He certainly will be remembered for that and a whole lot more besides.

Insidethegames.com

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:mellow: I hope the 2010 Games wont overshadow Fennell's good work since taking the reigns. The Games were upsized and profile lifted, give or take what you make of it.

Interesting to see that the potental to keep the games in exotic locations have been boosted by the appointment of Prince Tunku Imran.

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:mellow: I hope the 2010 Games wont overshadow Fennell's good work since taking the reigns. The Games were upsized and profile lifted, give or take what you make of it.

I thought you HATED the upsizing and rise in profile of the games - especially the big four - KL, Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi - that were under his reign.

:rolleyes:

Edited by Sir Rols
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I thought you HATED the upsizing and rise in profile of the games - especially the big four - KL, Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi - that were under his reign.

:rolleyes:

:angry: I personally do . :) - but Rols, you don't as do many others. Oh and don't throw Manchester in there with 'Over The Toppers', 2002 were the perfect model to follow, New Delhi should've followed Manchester's example...

Edited by Alexjc
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:lol: Manchester 2002 were the best Commonwealth Games ever IMHO...Amen! :P

...Well up till now anyway - Glasgow is a whole new world, wait to see what they will do to the CWGs. Also Gold Coast seems to have a more 'affordable' model on proposal...And of course the Rols favorite, Hambantota will continue with the 'Big it up' tradition. :D;)

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Nope ... my favourite would have been by and far Auckland. But they pussied out ... typically!

B)

:lol: ahh it's refreshing to see we have returned to normal broadcasting coverage! :lol:

...Oh and at the time the Government could see the 'Big it Up' style unaffordable for what the CWGs are worth and stopped Auckland from making a big mistake...Auckland was all for it!

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  • 4 weeks later...

CGF president wants Olympic qualifying status

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - New Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Tunku Imran wants the event to be given Olympic qualifying status in order to attract the best athletes and maintain relevance in a saturated sporting calendar.

The Games, which take place every four years and feature up to 17 sports for athletes from more than 70 countries of former British colonies, suffered negative headlines after an incident-marred event in Delhi last year.

Several top athletes, including Jamaican Usain Bolt, opted to skip the Games due to scheduling issues as well as safety concerns.

Prince Imran, who succeeded Jamaican Mike Fennell earlier this month, told Reuters in an interview at his office in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday that one way to ensure the best athletes were always in attendance was to dangle the Olympic carrot.

"Getting the top athletes, the best athletes in the sport that we have, has to be the main goal as that is what television and spectators are looking for," the qualified barrister and former Squash national champion said.

"You can't say you are the great Games when you are not attracting the best in the Commonwealth.

"We are in such a competitive position now, we are in the same year as the FIFA World Cup, we are in the same year as the Winter Olympics.

"We should try and persuade the international federations to make the Commonwealth Games a qualifying, perhaps the first qualifying event, for the Olympics."

The 63-year-old Malaysian said individual discussions would take place between the CGF and the federations of their Olympic sports over the next year to discuss the idea and also to build a stronger bond and ensure there are no calendar clashes.

more: Reuters

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Not a bad suggestion - though I'd imagine it wouldn't be an easy task to slot in some sort of qualification for some of the sports. And for the Commonwealth-specific sports - well, the GWGs are already the pinnacle for those anyway. I'd like to see how the proposal develops.

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  • 2 years later...

And it's a Yank who's gonna head it up now:

American Grevemberg appointed new Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive

David Grevemberg has officially been appointed as the new chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) today.

Grevemberg is currently chief executive of Glasgow 2014 and will replace Mike Hooper after the New Zealander steps down in August.

He will begin in this new role in November.

He emerged as the leading candidate ahead of three other rivals - all British - at the final interviews conducted by the CGF Executive Board in Dubai yesterday.

Commenting on his new appoint, Grevemberg said: "It will be an honour and privilege to lead the Commonwealth sports movement on the next stage of its journey.

"This is a time of tremendous opportunity for the Commonwealth in which sport has an impactful role to play in empowering, inspiring and connecting nations and people in shared purpose.

"Glasgow 2014 is setting a new benchmark for Commonwealth Games and gives the movement sound foundations from which to build and grow.

"My immediate focus is on ensuring that – together with our Games Partners – we do Glasgow and Scotland proud and deliver the best Games ever, creating a great global stage for Commonwealth athletes to shine and a wonderful festival of sport the Commonwealth can enjoy.

"I look forward to working with HRH Prince Imran, the Executive Board - and the whole Commonwealth Games family – in particular Samoa and Gold Coast, hosts of the next Commonwealth Youth Games and Commonwealth Games.

"I'd also like to pay tribute to Mike Hooper for the commitment he has shown to Commonwealth sport over the past 14 years as the CGF's chief executive."

The announcement was made today by CGF President HRH Prince Imran who said he was "absolutely delighted to have a sports leader of David's calibre join us at this important time for the Commonwealth sports movement."

He added: "He has an excellent track record for delivery and shows a real ambition for harnessing the power of sport within the Commonwealth.

"We look forward very much to the energy, vision and commitment he will bring to the Federation."

The 41-year-old has been a chief executive of Glasgow 2014 since 2011 after joining the Organising Committee as the director of operations in October 2009 and progressing to chief operating officer in July 2010.

Before his time with Glasgow, Grevemberg was the executive director of sport and International Federation relations at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Insidethegames

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And it's a Yank who's gonna head it up now:

This guy is a nice and competent professionnal.

Good luck David ;-)

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Ooh..I wonder if he'll encourage his homeland to take up it's invitation to attend the games...

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