October 2, 2009
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Michael Fennell, will arrive in Delhi next week looking to fast-track operational changes designed to deliver a successful Commonwealth Games in October 2010.
Fennell will preside over meetings of the CGF’s Executive Board and all member nations, and will look to advise them of agreed strategies to address the Federation’s issues about Delhi’s preparedness to host the Games.
With only one year to go, Fennell is intensely aware of the tight time line that faces the Delhi organisers.
The CGF President wrote to the board of the Organising Committee in Delhi on September 13, expressing serious concern about progress across key operational areas.
Fennell believes that the key to getting the Games’ preparations back on track will be his meeting with Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.
“We still have a year to go, and it is possible to deliver a successful Games,” Fennell said. “However, to achieve this there will have to be a renewed focus by management across the operations of the Organising Committee.
“The Indian Government, as a co-signatory of the Host City Contract, is committed to delivering a successful Games in 2010, and I know that Prime Minister Singh sees this as a matter of national pride and prestige for India.
“It would be wrong for us not to share our concerns about preparations for the Games directly with the Government, as it has invested heavily in the infrastructure necessary for the Games and the operations of the Organising Committee.
“The CGF has endeavoured to create a positive environment about the Games based on the undertakings of the Organising Committee to implement changes we have recommended.
“The challenges now facing the Games are enormous. Immediate changes will be required and, in particular, close attention to the many issues raised by the CGF’s Coordination Commission.
“Games-experienced personnel must be appointed immediately – people with a track record of delivering for major events – to lead key management, planning and operational roles.
“These operational areas include accreditation, transportation, technology, ticketing, spectator services, protocol, press operations, communications, logistics and medical.
“Processes to fast-track procurement, and the streamlining of the decision-making are also vitally important.
“We have seen good progress on venues, and while some remain behind schedule, I note the resolve of the Governments of India and Delhi to deliver these quality venues in time for the Games.
“I compliment the Indian Government’s on its commitment to provide a secure environment for our teams and the spectators of the Games and together we now need to ensure that the detailed planning is implemented as agreed.
“There is no doubting the sincerity of all involved hosting an outstanding Games and the CGF is committed to providing all possible assistance and advice to achieve this objective.”
“This is the message I will be taking to the Prime Minister when we meet next week.”