Press Release: Serufho returns from the Durban 2022 Inbound Visit

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) CEO, Mr. Tuelo Serufho is back from Durban, South Africa, where he spent close to one week as part of the delegations from Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia; who were brought into that city and country by the Durban Bid Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, for purposes of receiving presentations on what the City would do in the event it wins the rights to host the Games.

As part of the bid process, each bid City for the Commonwealth Games is expected to bring in representatives of all the Commonwealth Games countries and territories, for purposes of receiving presentations as well as visiting some of the key facilities earmarked for the Games.

In the premise, the City of Durban organised a visit by the Africa and Asia members followed by the Europe and Oceania group in July and finally the Americas and Caribbean countries in August. The aim of the inbound visits is for the Commonwealth Games Associations, representing the 71 countries of the Commonwealth, to conduct personal assessments of Durban’s bid proposal.

The visits are intended to aid Commonwealth countries in their voting for the host of the 2022 Games; which vote will take place on the occasion of the Commonwealth Games Federation to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in September.

During the Africa and Asia inbound visits, delegates toured facilities that included the Moses Mabhida Stadium which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics (Track and Field) and Rugby 7s, the Kings
Park Pool earmarked for swimming; the University of Kwazulu Natal – Westville Campus Indoor Sports Arena and squash among others.

The Africa and Asia visit included a very important day, the 18th July, which is not only the Nelson Mandela Day, but also significantly with respect to the Durban bid, the date on which the Opening Ceremony of the Games would be held should their bid be successful.

In Mr. Serufho’s words, not only was the Durban weather very perfect, but there are also many pluses to the Durban bid. “With the City being at sea level, there will be great opportunities for athletes to break the Commonwealth Games records and in some respects, aim to break world records”.

“Durban not only has experience for hosting mega sport events that include the Rugby World Cup in 1995, the Cricket World Cup 2003, Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, FIFA Confederation Cup in 2009, the finals of the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. The City already has a lot of existing world class sporting facilities, and therefore would not need to invest a great deal in new ones”.

The Durban 2022 plan is to utilizing existing facilities to a great extent, with refurbishments where needed as well as to build a few temporary venues where necessary, as in the case of the shooting arenas as well as the beach volleyball count. Improvements to existing facilities will form part of the Games legacy, for residents of the sport crazy city.

While Durban remains the sole candidate City for the 2022 Commonwealth Games following the withdrawal of Edmonton, Canada, on the back of a decline in oil prices, the Durban still has to follow all the bid processes and will only know post the Auckland meeting whether or not they shall be the first African City to host a Commonwealth Games.

Serufho is convinced that Durban has what it takes to successfully host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. “Having been to the Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and noting the standard that has to be matched, I am convinced that should Durban win the rights to host in 2022, they would do very well to match and/or surpass the Games in 2010 and/or 2014”.

The BNOC, which is responsible for Botswana’s competition at the Commonwealth Games, amongst others, will be amongst the 71 countries/territories voting to either grant or deny Durban the opportunity of hosting the Games in 2022.