Durban Games facilities checked

2015-07-22 06:00

DELEGATES from 21 African and Asian Commonwealth Games Federation member states visiting Durban to inspect the cityand#039;s value proposition to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 seemed impressed that more than 80% of the infrastructure is in place.

Delegates started with inspections of the Rachel Finlayson Pool and toured Durbanand#039;s seven- kilo- metre beach front promenade on 16 July.

Most were pleased that the majority of all facilities, including nine of the 10 core sports, are within a 2.5 kilometre radius making travelling in and around the area easy.

The delegation then inspected the Moses Mabhida Stadium featuring additional sporting arenas, facilities and restaurants. The last inspection for the day was Durbanand#039;s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and the exhibition centre where temporary facilities will be put up for the games.

On Friday, 17 July the tour continued and the Athletes Village in Cornubia near Umhlanga was inspected. The squash facilities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville campus were also inspected. Joan Smit from Namibia was pleased that one of the proposed venues for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is a local university.

“The fact that some games will be played at the local university ties in well with the 2022 Commonwealth Games theme that Durban is ready to inspire,” said Smit.

Commonwealth Games 2022 bid committee member Vusi Mazibuko said by hosting the games, public infrastructure development will be fast-tracked.

“Development for the games synchronises with the cityand#039;s urban regeneration plans and the athletes’ village will be converted into residential housing after the games and will be handed over to qualifying beneficiaries. Most importantly young people will be empowered with specialist skills and know-ledge,” he said.

To celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July delegates helped the South African National Blood Services and donated blood at the Durban Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The delegation then visited the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick. The last site to be inspected was the Cascades Mountain Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg, ranked third in the world.

Mayor James Nxumalo said most of the facilities where the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged are already in place and require minor upgrades they meet international Commonwealth Games standards.

“After visiting the various sites during the week, we are confident delegates now have a holistic view of our world-class infrastructure and what they have seen confirms what we presented in our bid proposal in London,” said Nxumalo.

- Supplied

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