Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Successful Games common goal: COCOM chief

The CGF’s Co-ordination Commission (COCOM) began its three-day meeting to review the preparations of the Commonwealth Games on Monday by assuring the organisers of its full support for the 2010 event.

During the opening session of the sixth meeting of COCOM, chairman Austin Sealy of Barbados said all parties involved were working to make the Games a success. “We are all working towards the same goal — that of producing a successful Games next year,” Sealy said.

The meeting comes two months after Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell slammed the Organising Committee for the slow pace of work. However, CGF CEO Mike Hooper told The Indian Express on Thursday that significant changes had taken place in the work preparations since October.

OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi also said the eight-member COCOM would find considerable progress in all areas since it last visited the Capital in May. “This meeting is a good opportunity to introspect and review what needs to be done to achieve set milestones and timelines,” Kalmadi said.

“We have total clarity in management structure, with each functional area having separate heads,” he said, adding that the workforce had increased from 228 in May to 680 as on date. “About 200 others have been selected to join in next month. We will go up to 1600,” he added.

Kalmadi also mentioned that the revenue from TV rights and sponsorship deals had already exceeded expectations. “Against projected revenues of $30 million, we have already secured deals worth $42 million,” he said. “Major sponsorship deals had been signed and many more offers are under finalisation in the areas of banking, logistics, food and beverage, technology, transport and overlays provider etc.”

Sports secretary Sindhurshree Khullar sought COCOM’s advice in the Games preparations. “A lot of time has been spent in explaining things instead of getting on with the task of ensuring that the Games are conducted well. The level of monitoring the progress of the Games has gone up. Your advice will help us get on with it,” she said.

The meetings will be held through Wednesday evening after which COCOM would present its report to CGF president Fennell, who is expected to arrive in the city on Wednesday.

Apart from Sealy, COCOM also comprises Bruce Robertson (Canada), Sharad Rao (Kenya), Lisa Hindson (Australia), Perry Crosswhite (Australia), Chris Jenkins (Wales), Gideon Sam (South Africa) and Mike Hooper (CEO CGF).

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