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Commonwealth Games

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HISTORY AND OVERVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES BY MARTINS BEN IGWE THE COMMONWEALTH FAMILY The Commonwealth is an association of independent sovereign states spread over every continent and ocean. The Commonwealth’s 2 billion people make up 30% of the world’s population and are of many faiths, races, languages, cultures and traditions. The Commonwealth Games Family is best described as all persons who are entitled to accreditation at the Games under the provisions of the CGF. COMMONWEALTH GAMES FEDERATION (CGF) The CGF is the governing body of the Commonwealth Games with the overall responsibility for the direction and control of the Games. The Patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Vice Patron is HRH the Earl of Wessex. Other members of the governing body are the President, Executive Board Members, Committees, Staff and Distinguished Guests of the CGF, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Sovereigns, Heads of State & Government (including royalty), Future Organising Committees, World Anti Doping Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sports. THE HISTORY OF THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES The Commonwealth games were first held in 1930 in a city called Hamilton, Canada where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in 6 sports and 59 events. Bobby Robinson, a major influence within athletics in Canada at the time, finally implemented the event that had been talked about amongst Commonwealth nations for over thirty years with the City of Hamilton providing $30,000 to help cover travelling costs of the participating nations. Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years, except for 1942 and 1946 due to the World War II. The event has seen many changes, not least in its name. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, from 1954 until 1966 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. It was the 1978 Games in Edmonton that saw this unique, world class, and multi-sports event change its name to the Commonwealth Games. Often referred to as the “Friendly Games”, only single competition sports had been on the programme from 1930 up to and including the 1994 Games in Victoria. The 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur saw the introduction of team sports with nations taking part in cricket (50 over game), hockey (men and women), netball (women) and rugby 7's (men). In Manchester in 2002 hockey, netball and rugby 7's graced the programme again and at the 2006 Games in Melbourne basketball accompanied hockey, netball and rugby 7's on the programme. Presently in Delhi 2010 hockey, netball and rugby 7’s are again a feature. The 2002 Games in Manchester also saw for the first time, indeed at any multi-sport event in the world, a limited number of full medal events for elite athletes with a disability (EAD) in a fully inclusive sports programme. This continued in Melbourne where EAD athletes took part in athletics, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting. In the year 2000 the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) took on the added responsibility of the Commonwealth Youth Games, open to athletes 18 years of age and under the Youth Games provide an excellent opportunity for aspiring young athletes from the Commonwealth with a taste of what the Commonwealth Games has in store for them in the future. The inaugural Games were in Edinburgh with the last edition being hosted in 2004 in Bendigo, Australia with Pune in India in 2008 hosting the 3rd edition. In such a short space of time the Youth Games has grown in stature and this is evidenced by award of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man. The story of the Games evolved yet again on the 9th November 2007 when Glasgow (Scotland) was awarded the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. COMMONWEALTH GAMES ASSOCIATIONS (CGA) The CGAs are the 71 recognised organisations that are responsible for preparing, selecting and sending a team of athletes and support staff to compete in each Commonwealth Games, Athletes, Presidents and Secretaries General, Chefs de Mission, Team Officials (Coaches, Media, Medical, and Administrative) and special guests. THE 20TH COMMONWEALTH GAMES The 20th Commonwealth Games in 2014 tagged Glasgow 2014 will be held in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. The winning city was announced by the Commonwealth Games Federation on 9 November 2007 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Games will run over 11 days of competition from 24 July to 3 August 2014. It will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland. Over the last 10 years however Glasgow and Scotland have also staged World, Commonwealth, European or British events in all 17 sports proposed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the World Badminton Championships in 1997. It will be the third time the Commonwealth Games have been held in Scotland, previously hosting in 1970 and 1986, both occasions in Edinburgh. BIDDING TO HOST THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2014 Scotland was the first country to consider hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games in 2004, with Scottish cities being invited by the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland to consider making a bid. In September 2004, Glasgow was announced as the Scottish candidate city over Edinburgh (which hosted the Games in 1970 and 1986, and the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games in 2000) following a cost-benefit analysis by the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland. The Scottish Executive under the First Minister of Scotland, Jack McConnell, with the support of the United Kingdom government and all main parties in the Scottish Parliament, formally announced Glasgow's intention to host the games on 16 August 2005. In March 2006, the bidding process began, with the Glasgow Bid team presenting their case to the Commonwealth Games Federation at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, along with the other confirmed candidate cities; the Nigerian capital, Abuja and Halifax in Canada. In October 2006, the first voting delegates arrived in Glasgow, in order to inspect the city's existing and proposed amenities and facilities. Glasgow announced on 16 January 2007, the 17 sports to be included should its bid be successful. Halifax later withdrew its bid on 8 March 2007, following the withdrawal of funding from the municipal government. That left Abuja and Glasgow as the remaining bidders, with Abuja seen as a likely favourite due the basis of its campaign that an African nation has never before hosted the Commonwealth Games. The deadline for formal submission of bids to the Commonwealth Games Federation, in the form of a Candidate City File, was set for May 2007. Both bids were highly recommended, though Glasgow's bid team had made use of extensive benchmarking against the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and as a result, its bid was deemed technically superior according to the CGF Evaluation Report that was released in September 2007. The Commonwealth Games Evaluation Commission concluded that: "Glasgow has shown it has the ability to stage the 2014 Commonwealth Games to a standard which would continue to enhance the image and prestige of the Games. " This put Glasgow ahead in terms of the technical comprehensiveness of its bid. The final decision on the host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 9 November 2007 at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly, attended by all 71 Commonwealth Games member associations. Each bid city made a presentation to the General Assembly, the order of which was determined by drawing lots. Glasgow's delegation was led by Louise Martin, First Minister Alex Salmond, athlete Jamie Quarry and Leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell. The presentation also included a promotional film narrated by Sir Sean Connery. Abuja's delegation was led by General Yakubu Gowon, head of the Abuja 2014 Commonwealth Games bid team. The CGF members subsequently voted for their preferred candidate in a secret ballot. As there were only two bids, the winner was announced by the CGF President, Mike Fennell, after the first round of voting, with the winner only requiring a simple majority. The results of the bidding process were: Abuja (Nigeria)24 votes Glasgow (Scotland)47 votes GAMES IMPACT The Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland all have ambitious plans to generate a lasting social, economic and sporting legacy from the Games. Historically host cities have seldom managed to achieve these kinds of legacy benefits, but the planning and preparation for Glasgow's bid goes back to 2002, and much consideration has been given to this aspect. Indeed the belief that the Games could be a catalyst for such change was one of the major reasons why Glasgow put in a bid in the first place. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will have a profound impact on the positive reputation on the City of Glasgow and Scotland. It will affect the environment, economic climate and society as a whole. Glasgow 2014 Organizing Committee will approach the journey to deliver the Games in a responsible and sustainable manner. A number of key policies will be developed to tackle Games delivery issues such as sustainability, the environment, accessibility and health and safety. It is Glasgow 2014's intention to cascade its philosophy throughout all operational aspects of the organization and to collaborate with its Games partners and stakeholders to maximize the value of such initiatives may bring as a result of a successful Games. MISSION, VISION AND VALUES OF THE ORGANIZING BODY FOR GLASGOW 2010 The mission The mission of the organizing body is to organize and deliver the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in a way that fully realizes the aspirations of the Glasgow Bid and the contractual obligations of the Host City Contract - on ime and on budget. The vision The vision of the organizing body is to stage an outstanding, athlete-centered and sport-focused Games of world-class competition that will be celebrated across the Commonwealth, generate enormous pride in Glasgow and Scotland, and leave a lasting legacy. The values The value of the organizing body is an inclusive organization that epitomizes the values of integrity, responsibility and endeavor. It is one in which all people of Scotland will be valued. They also aim to engage other game partners in the spirit of sportsmanship. FINANCING AND ADMINISTRATION The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council agreed to underwrite the Organizing Committee's net running costs of staging the Games, which is currently budgeted at ? 288m. This will be on the basis of an 80/20 split. It is expected that the majority of the 80% of costs to be covered by the Scottish Government will be new money committed to the sports and major events budget. A further ? 50m is expected to be raised through merchandising, broadcasting, sponsorship and ticket sales. Current major corporate sponsors include; Clydesdale Bank, Highland Spring, O2, FirstGroup, BBC Scotland and Diageo. Other capital expenditure is taking place in addition to the Organizing Committee's budget, principally on venue infrastructure. Only three entirely new venues are required to stage the games, which are budgeted at a combined total of ? 200 million and additions to existing venues will cost an additional ? 70 million, although most of this investment had been planned to take place regardless of the bid result. The Games Village is projected to cost some ? 229 million and will be developed through a Public Private Partnership scheme. Following the announcement on 9 November 2007 that Glasgow will host the Games, the Scottish Parliament passed the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill. This legislation aims to protect the Games from Ambush marketing and ticket touts, while putting powers in place to address matters such as transport and land purchase. The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 received Royal Assent on 10 June 2008. On 14 November 2007, the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond announced the disbandment of the bid committee headed Louise Martin, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland and Bid Director and said that a new committee would be announced within the next 100 days. On 8 February 2008, Sir Robert Smith was appointed as Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organizing company. Smith is the former Chairman of the Weir Group, CEO of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and BBC Governor and Chairman for the Broadcasting Council for Scotland PREPARATIONS BY HOST COMMUNITY VENUES One of the key technical aspects of Glasgow's successful bid was the fact that the city already has 70 percent of the planned venues in place. The vast majority of venues are located within 20-minutes driving time of the Athletes Village in Dalmarnock and are broadly grouped into three clusters; in the East End, South Side and West End districts of the city. The only sports held outside the Greater Glasgow area will be the Diving and Full-Bore Shooting events. ?Main Stadia Hampden Park, Scotland's National Football Stadium, located on the South Side, will be the main venue for Athletics and the Closing Ceremony, while Celtic Park, located in the East End, will be used for the Opening Ceremony. ?West End cluster The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, located in the West End of the city, will host Wrestling and Judo, as well the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre, benefiting from its strategic position adjacent to the new headquarters of BBC Scotland and SMG at Pacific Quay. The Clyde Auditorium will host Weightlifting, whilst the new Scottish National Arena will be used for the Gymnastics and Netball events. Kelvingrove Park, will be the venue for Bowls and already has five bowling greens installed for competitive use. A comprehensive upgrade and refurbishment of the park is underway. Kelvingrove Park is situated close to the SECC and is adjacent to the Kelvin Hall, which will host the Boxing tournament. Scotstoun Sports Centre will host Table tennis and Squash. ?East End Cluster A new National Indoor Sports Arena and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome Complex is planned for Parkhead in the East End of the city, the Velodrome itself will be opposite Celtic Park, which will be used for the opening ceremony. These venues will become the headquarters of Sportscotland and Scottish Cycling, and will also host Badminton as well as Track cycling. The Road cycling and Cycling Time-trial events will start and finish at Glasgow Green. Glasgow Green will also be the venue for Field hockey and will see the construction of a new Regional Hockey Centre. The Athletes’ Village will be located adjacent to the National Indoor Sports Arena and Velodrome in Dalmarnock at Cuningar Loop on the banks of the River Clyde. The village will form the centrepiece of the wider Clyde Gateway Project, a strategic ? 1. 6 billion inner city regeneration project for the East End of the city. The village masterplan covers a 35 hectare site and will be purpose-built to house 6,000 athletes and officials in 2,500 residential units and leave a legacy of regeneration in this deprived district of the city. Tollcross Park Aquatics Centre will be the venue for Race swimming events. It already has one Olympic standard 50 metre swimming pool, which will be extensively upgraded, and a second 50 metre pool is also to be added for the Games as a warm-up facility. The existing permanent seating capacity will also be increased by 1000. Combined with additional temporary seating there will be over 5,000 seats for the Games in 2014. Strathclyde Country Park, on the eastern outskirts of Glasgow, will host the Triathlon event. ?South Side Cluster Ibrox Stadium, in the South Side, is the planned venue for the Rugby Sevens tournament. Mountain biking will be held on the Cathkin Braes near Rutherglen, the highest point in the city. The Marathon will also begin and end at Hampden Park in the South Side, which is hosting all the Track and Field Athletics events. ?Satellite Venues Diving will be held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, located 45 miles (72 km) to the east, which will also be holding the annual Edinburgh Festival at the same time as the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Shooting competitions will take place at two separate outdoor venues, the Strathclyde Police ranges at Jackton, near East Kilbride, and the Ministry of Defence full-bore rifle and clay target ranges at Barry Buddon, near Dundee, which were also used in the 1986 Commonwealth Games. It should also be noted that shooting is the only sporting event that will not derive an enhanced physical legacy from the Games. INFRASTRUCTURES ?Transportation As stated by the Organizing Committee, over two billion pounds will have been spent on enhancements to the city's transport infrastructure by 2014, including completion of major motorway links, like the M74 and East End Regeneration Route. There are also planned improvements to public transport provision, such as the Clyde Fastlink project. All venues in the Glasgow area will be directly served by city's extensive railway and subway network, with its main interchange at Glasgow Central/St Enoch, including; Hampden Park and Jackton, as well as the other major venues served by either the central Argyle Line or Subway. There are also ongoing improvements to the River Clyde such as the construction of new bridges and development of river-based transport. ?Utilities Glasgow has a comprehensive mains electricity network supplied by the National Grid, which is operated by Scottish Power and generated from an increasing share of renewable sources, such as Whitelee Wind Farm. More flexible electricity supplies are also readily available, with mobile generating specialists Aggreko, based in the city. Scottish Water operates Glasgow's primary water supply, which is sourced from Loch Katrine and enters the city via the state-of-the-art Milngavie water treatment works. The city has a world class healthcare sector administered by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. ?Security Strathclyde Police have a proven track record in providing security at high profile events such as the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2005 G8 summit. The Scottish Government is working closely with the Games organisers, the Police and other security services to ensure that the security arrangements in place for the Games are responsive to all circumstances. The funding for security has been considered from the outset. ?Accommodations Glasgow currently has some 11,870 hotel rooms, including three 5-star hotels. There are plans for eight new hotels in and around Glasgow. Ranging from 3 to 5 star accommodation; they will collectively provide a further 1,445 beds by 2014. The Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has also obtained contractual agreements from 67 hotels in the city to guarantee room rates with no minimum length of stay. ?Telecommunications In terms of telecommunications, Glasgow was voted the Intelligent Community of the Year in 2004 by the Intelligent Community Forum, in recognition of the city's comprehensive level of Broadband Internet access and highly developed 3G and Wi-Fi networks. ?Environmental Forum The Scottish Government has set up an environmental forum to provide advice and to challenge the 2014 Commonwealth Games delivery partners on the sustainability and environmental aspects of the Games, including on the design and construction of facilities and planning and operation of the Games and on legacy issues. The membership is drawn from environmental and wildlife protection organisations, local government, Scottish Government and agencies. In order to fulfil a commitment made in the Glasgow 2014 bid to ffset carbon emissions from the Games, the Scottish Government will work with its delivery partners to develop a carbon offsetting scheme for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The scheme will become active soon after the completion of the Delhi Games in October 20 CONCERNS AND CONTROVERSIES Numerous activists groups, individuals, academics, media sources, politicians and charitable organisations have been critical of backing the bid to host the Games in Glasgow and of the extent the games will bring positive benefits to the people of Glasgow and Scotland as a whole. There are currently two dedicated media sources focused on holding decision makers to account regarding Legacy Commitments and presenting opposition to the displacement of residents. They are also lamenting the closure of facilities and amenities as a result of property development tied to the Games. These sources are Don’t Back the Bid (DBB) and Glasgow Games Monitor (GGM) 2014. Criticism of Health Improvement Claims A recently published report by Gery McCartney et al. n the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2010; 340: c2369) has cast serious doubt on the potential health benefit legacy of the Commonwealth Games 2014. Their report analysed fifty-four studies assessing the health and socio-economic impacts of major multi-sport events on the host population between 1978 and 2008. Their conclusion was as follows: “Our review found insufficient evidence to confirm or refute expectations about the health or socio-economic benefits of the host population of previous multi-sport events. Benefits from future events – such as the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London or the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – cannot be expected to occur automatically. On this note, until decision makers include robust, long term evaluations as part of their designs and implementation of events, it is unclear how the costs can be justified in terms of host population benefits”. The Scottish Government commissioned the report, but when they saw the report did not conform to the outcome they wanted, they refused to publish or own it. Criticism of Budgeting In November 2009, the Games organizers claimed that the budget allocated to hosting the games would increase from ? 373 million to ? 454 million. The budget has since been increased to an estimated ? 523. 6 million – a 40% increase from the original estimate. The first increase was put down to staffing and broadcasting costs, the second increase has been blamed on inflation. This has happened in a context in which council funding cuts have forced community centre closures and a loss of funding for a number of grass-roots sports organizations. Most recently The National Arena – a new ? 12 million, 12,000-seater venue due to host the gymnastics and netball finals, and the international broadcast centre during CG2014 – has received a ? 40 million bail-out to avoid mothballing and financial collapse by the City Council. All these have raised serious objections from those kicking against the hosting rights. Criticism of Displacement of Residents In 2009 a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was served by Glasgow City Council on a number of homes and businesses on Ardenlea Street and Springfield Road. These properties are earmarked for demolition to make way for the building of the Athlete’s Village. Before a CPO is served, the Council is required to negotiate with property owners and come to a just and reasonable compensation for their property. In the case of some group of long-time residents on Ardenlea Street, this has not been the case. Before the end of 2010, those Dalmarnock homeowners and shop-owners in the way of development for the Commonwealth Games Village will be made homeless through eviction orders by Glasgow City Council. No compensation price for their properties has been agreed or paid. Despite repeated attempts by the property owners, the Council has refused to negotiate with them. Activists claim this matter has been particularly controversial in lieu of a hugely profitable land deal done between wealthy Mayfair property developer Charles Price and the City Council. Price bought a parcel of land adjacent to Ardenlea Street and Spingfield Road in Dalmarnock for ? 8 million in the period 2002-2005. The land also lies on a site earmarked for the Commonwealth Games Village and is likewise deemed essential for the Games development. The City Council had it within their powers to perform a Compulsory Purchase Order on Price’s land, but instead negotiated with Price (a process denied to Margaret Jaconelli and the other shopkeepers) resulting in a ? 17 million sale of the land - with ? 3 million added VAT. A total cost of ? 20 million pounds of public money. A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said that compulsory purchase powers were not used against Price’s company because officials had been able to agree a deal with him.
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