The Gold Coast and Hambantota have formally started the race to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games after lodging their bids with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today (11 May).
Speaking at the ceremony, CGF Vice President, HRH Tunku Imran thanked both candidate cities for their commitment to the Commonwealth Games movement.
“Over the last two years we have seen both the Gold Coast and Hambantota work towards this day and develop not only their bid books but also an understanding of what responsibilities lay ahead for them and what the Commonwealth Games mean to the people of the Commonwealth.
“The race for the 2018 Games presents an intriguing choice for our members.
“Each city would make a worthy host and would continue to build the international profile and brand of the Commonwealth Games as one of the most popular and enduring world-class events on the international sporting calendar.
“Today’s presentations mark only the start of the selection process for 2018. Now that the candidature files have been formally lodged with the CGF, an extensive evaluation process will get underway, beginning with an analysis of the technical aspects of each city’s bid documents.
“This will include site visits to each city by our Evaluation Committee with the final decision to be taken by our member nations at the CGF’s General Assembly in St Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean on 11th November later this year, when responsibility for both upholding the great traditions of the ‘Friendly Games’ as well as taking the movement into the future will be passed on to either the Gold Coast or Hambantota.”
“It is not just about what each candidate city will offer over 11 days on and off the field of play in 2018, it is also about ensuring that we continue to celebrate the diversities within the Commonwealth, making sure that sport offers our youth a chance for betterment, and its about all stakeholders working together, with the Games as a catalyst, for a better understanding of each other and for peace.”
The CGF Executive Board, chaired by HRH Tunku Imran in the absence of President Michael Fennell who is recovering from heart surgery, appointed Ms Louise Martin CBE, Honorary Secretary of the CGF, as the Chair of the Evaluation Committee.
Other members appointed are Mr Gideon Sam, President South Africa Sports Confederation and National Olympic Committee, Mr Erskine Simmons, Secretary General Barbados Olympic Committee, Mr Andrew Ryan, Executive Director, ASOIF, and Mr Mike Hooper, CGF CEO.
Their work begins next month and the Final Evaluation report will be completed in September.
A draw conducted during the lodgment ceremony determined that Hambantota will be the first city to present to the General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
“A Hambantota 2018 Games will secure long term and sustainable social and economic benefits and drive sustainable development throughout our country. But it will also bring about a major and exciting change in Commonwealth & world sport – mostly for your sports and competitors.”
“Given the opportunity to host the Games will make such a difference to Commonwealth sport, to its athletes and to the young people in Sri Lanka, South Asia and around the Commonwealth who aspire to excite and thrill us with their performances in 2018. We are not adapting existing facilities but creating brand new state of the art venues, built around the Athletes’ Village that puts athletes at its heart. We have already started work on our wonderful new host venue, the adjacent international airport and new road system. And we are on time and on budget to complete in 2016 so we can host CGA training camps in the 18 months before the Games.”
Sam Coffa AM,JP, President, Australian Commonwealth Games Association
"As a country, Australia loves the Games and the stands will be full of cheering spectators supporting both the winners and those who participate."
"The ACGA was very pleased to submit the Gold Coast 2018 Candidature File to the Commonwealth Games Federation and has no doubt the city can host a world class event.
Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh MP
"The submission of the Gold Coast Candidature File is a milestone in the bidding process marked very enthusiastically by a community on the Gold Coast, throughout Queensland and Australia who really want to host the Games in 2018."
"The Games will elaborate our sense of pride for the country we live in and evoke a shared passion that will leave a long term social and cultural legacy for the City."
Mark Stockwell, Chairman, 2018 Gold Coast Bid Committee
"We were pleased with the enthusiasm shown at the lodgement ceremony for the Gold Coast City Candidature and this reflects an Australia wide enthusiasm for the Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Games."
"It has been thus far an amazing process to be involved in – I have enjoyed competing in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and have now turned my passion to developing a Bid to host the Games in my home country.
“Australia is a nation that embraces sport on all levels across multiple disciplines and we understand the significance and benefits sport and sporting events bring to international peace and goodwill among the family of Commonwealth nations. Gold Coast City is honoured and proud to be Australia’s candidate City and we look forward to the next phase of the Bid and welcoming Commonwealth Games Association representatives to Gold Coast City.