Leaders of the Hambantota 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid yesterday welcomed the report by the CGF Evaluation Commission which describes the Sri Lankan proposals as “the most compact Commonwealth Games concept designs ever developed.”
The report says Hambantota’s “unique” and “ambitious” plan ensures short travel times between venues for the “Games family” with an integrated park hosting 90% of the competition venues and all of the non competition venues.
Hambantota Bid CEO/Director Nalin Attygalle said: “We thank the Evaluation Commission for producing such a thorough report which covers over 20 different topics and concludes that we fundamentally meet all the technical requirements to deliver the Games.”
“We know there is still a great deal of hard work to be done in the final race to the finishing line but we welcome the finding that we meet every single technical requirement. We are particularly encouraged that the commission report says that “the environment and sustainability elements of the proposal are sound, underpinned by a solid organising committee framework,” he said.
On the question of readiness to stage the Games, Attygalle said: “There is a seven-year period to get ready for the Games. I believe strongly that the whole experience hinges not on being event-ready now but on getting ready over seven years. There are enormous opportunities for young people to train, for businesses to grow, for venues to be constructed and for legacies to be planned. The Games should aspire to deliver these and create a life-changing Games.”
The Hambantota 2018 emblem features eight pairs of hands in the colours of the CGF. Each pair of hands is pressed together, palms together and fingers pointed outwards. This symbolises Añjali Mudrā, the hand gesture practiced throughout Asia and the continent’s eight Commonwealth members; it has the same meaning as the customary spoken Sanskrit greeting Namaste. The design also depicts the similar Ayubowan gesture, a cultural symbol of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan hospitality. The bid strap line is ‘Together. From the heart.’