India should host the Commonwealth Games again, says CGF CEO

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg hopes India would “extend us its support in the growth of the Commonwealth and its people.”

David Grevemberg... “I am sure that the example set by Gold Coast will be worthy model to emulate for future host cities.”   -  Getty Images

David Grevemberg is conspicuous by his gregarious demeanour in his interactions with officials, athletes and the media despite being busy managing the Commonwealth Games. The soft-spoken Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, who is cognizant of the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and is familiar with Indian cinema, spoke exclusively to Sportstar here on Saturday.

“That film, ‘Dangal,’ was just fantastic,” he remarked. “[It reached] out to people seeking to change the attitude of the world towards the girl child and women [and] really is one of my favourite films.”

Grevemberg elaborated on the Commonwealth Games movement and the future of the Games.

‘Great Games’

Emphatic as he always has been, it is little wonder that David was instrumental in Glasgow hosting the 2014 Games well under budget. Talking about the ongoing tourney, he said, “It is our commitment to see to it that the Games are run on a cost-effective basis even as a host city and its communities are benefitted in a big way, whether it is infrastructure, roads, housing or transport besides economic growth, which are the lasting legacies of any Games. I am happy that Gold Coast like Glasgow has risen up to the occasion and that its people would remember the Games fondly for a long time to come, having been beneficiaries of what the Games have given them. We have had a great Games so far and I am sure that the example set by Gold Coast will be worthy model to emulate for future host cities.”

According to Grevemberg, the aim of the Commonwealth Games is to help build “peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities.”

Read: India hasn't appealed against athletes' expulsion, says CGF

He said, “I have always said that the relevance of the Games is not the competitions alone but the core values with which we work with stressing on building a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally and inspiring athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all the Commonwealth citizens through sport. Just like the world was revolutionised by Mahatma Gandhi, Her Majesty, Nelson Mandela and such other great people, our effort is to create a platform beyond sporting performances but without losing the relevance of the Games.

New initiatives

Talking about new initiatives, he said, “We have now sealed the number of athletes participating in any Games henceforth to 4,500 and in the coming days you would realise our new initiatives to keep it lively and vibrant. One such initiative will be to launch programmes like Commonwealth versus the rest across disciplines, strengthen the Commonwealth championships and to provide a future road map, covering the pathways for athlete development across all the six regions equitably so that the world sits up and take notice of the growth of the people of the Commonwealth.

“Simultaneously, we have to work hand-in-hand with several international sports federations to create new projects to ensure that the athletes of the Commonwealth are given further opportunities to compete and excel beyond the Games and the Youth Games, which purposefully has been kept down to a low scale so that smaller nations are able to host it without much of a financial burden.

“I sincerely think that India can play a lead role in all this. We are lucky that we have a country with a history of well over 5,000 years among us and I hope it will extend us its support in the growth of the Commonwealth and its people. In this context, let me also clear that I would love India to host another Games in the near future, which would be more magnificent than New Delhi 2010,” he concluded.

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