Venues of the 2010 Commonwealth Games
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The 2010 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XIX Commonwealth Games, were held in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. A total of 6,081 athletes from 71 nations in the Commonwealth of Nations competed in 272 events in 21 sports. The games were the largest international multi-sport event to be staged in Delhi and in India, eclipsing the 1982 Asian Games that Delhi hosted. Events took place at twelve competition venues, and twenty venues were set aside as training venues. Other venues in the games included the Commonwealth Games Village and the Main Media Centre.
The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, whose headquarters was situated in the New Delhi Municipal Council building, was established to organise the event. A total of five venues were newly constructed for the games; the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, the Siri Fort Sports Complex, the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, the Yamuna Sports Complex as well as a rugby sevens facility in Delhi University Stadium. This does not include the two venues—the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex and Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex—that received major renovations or an uplift. All other venues had existed prior to the games. The Commonwealth Games Village was a separate non-competitive venue that provided accommodation and activities for the athletes. The largest venue was the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, which had a capacity of 60,000 during the games. The stadium was the main venue of the games, hosting both the opening and the closing ceremonies. On the other hand, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Shooting Range located in Kadarpur had the smallest seating capacity, at 345. The days leading up to the games saw numerous concerns and controversies over the readiness and the state of venues of the games, which would continue during the event as new issues surfaced. The matter would receive widespread attention from the media, both local and international.
A total of six venues—the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, the Siri Fort Sports Complex and the Yamuna Sports Complex—had varying capacities as reflected in the table as they could hold their allocated sport(s) in more than one facility. For example, the Yamuna Sports Complex's archery facility could hold 1,500 while its facility for table tennis could hold 4,297.
|Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Shooting
|Delhi University Stadium||Rugby sevens||10,132||New|||
|Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range||Shooting||500–2,000||New|||
|Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Swimming Stadium||Aquatics||5,178||Existing|||
|Indira Gandhi Sports Complex||Cycling, gymnastics, wrestling||4,000–14,348||Existing|||
|Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex||Athletics, lawn bowls, weightlifting||2,111–60,000||Existing|||
|Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium||Hockey||2,500–19,118||Existing|||
|R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex||Tennis||5,015||Existing|||
|Siri Fort Sports Complex||Badminton, squash||3,128–4,748||New|||
|Talkatora Indoor Stadium||Boxing||3,035||Existing|||
|Thyagaraj Sports Complex||Netball||4,494||New|||
|Yamuna Sports Complex||Archery, table tennis||1,500–4,297||New|||
A total of twenty training venues were used in the Games. Of these twenty, one was used for archery; three for aquatics; two for lawn bowls; two for netball; eight for rugby sevens, including seven venues within Delhi University; two for shooting; one for squash; two for table tennis; one for weightlifting, three for wrestling and two for tennis.
Commonwealth Games Village
The Commonwealth Games Village provided accommodation and training for athletes of the Games, and was open from 23 September to 18 October 2010. It was located along the east bank of the Yamuna river, in proximity to competition and training venues as well as city landmarks, and was spread over an area of 63.5 hectares (157 acres). Comprising five main zones—the Residential Zone, the International Zone, the Training Area, the Main Dining and the Operational Zone—the Games Village, which was a non-smoking zone, was universally accessible particularly to accommodate para-sport athletes. Two transport systems, provided free of charge, served athletes and team officials in the Games Village. The Internal Village Shuttle provided internal movement within the Games Village, operating 24 hours daily. Bus services linked the Games Village to competition and training venues, the airport, and the city centre, Connaught Place.
The Residential Zone specifically accommodated athletes and team officials, with 1,168 apartments in 34 residential towers. Each apartment had two to five bedrooms, giving 4,008 bedrooms in total; each bedroom accommodated two residents which differed from the traditional practice of providing athletes with a bedroom each. The entire zone itself was divided into four zones, styled after four unique folk art styles found in India as identified by a colour and an image: warli (red), gond (blue), madhubani (green) and sanjhi (purple). Nine Resident Centres, each serving hundreds of residents, were spaced across the residential towers, and they provided key services and facilities as well as entertainment. The Residential Zone also housed offices and services centres for the Commonwealth Games Associations, a polyclinic, religious services and casual dining facilities.
The International Zone served as the hub of the Games Village, offering retail and entertainment services as well as a rendezvous location for visitors and Games participants. Key facilities such as a bank, post office and general store were hosted there, alongside retail shops and entertainment facilities including a cinema and an Internet café. Live craft demonstrations, band performances and cultural programmes were also held at the Village. The Training Area, a zonal area by itself with an area of 15 hectares (37 acres), provided training facilities entirely within the Games Village, in what has been described as a first in the history of the Commonwealth Games. There were facilities for four sports, including a track and field, wrestling and weightlifting training halls and an Olympic-size pool. A fully equipped gymnasium and fitness centre, steam and sauna facilities, physiotherapy rooms, as well as a leisure pool complemented the sport-specific facilities.
The Games Village was said to have adopted green features, in line with the 'Green Games' principle of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and it showcased and practiced sustainable development principles and practices. An in-house waste water treatment and reuse facility, organic waste treatment facilities, and solar powered energy were among the environmentally friendly practices adopted by the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Headquarters (OC CWG Delhi 2010). At the same time, most of the transport fleet provided for the Games ran on green fuels such as battery electric vehicles and compressed natural gas. Residents and guests could also offset travel-accumulated carbon emissions by computing their footprint and then procuring carbon credits at the specifically created Green Games Carbon Neutrality Kiosk. The World Anti-Doping Agency set up an anti-doping education hub in collaboration with the organisers. Construction of the Games Village as a whole however was marred by delays and organisational inefficiencies, leading to concerns as expressed by athletes and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) (see below).
There were three main non-competition venues in the Games, besides the Commonwealth Games Village (see above); namely the OC CWG Delhi 2010, the Main Media Centre, and the Games Family Hotel, Hotel Ashok. Situated in the New Delhi Municipal Council building in Connaught Place, the OC CWG Delhi 2010's office was spread over nine floors of the building, with a capacity to accommodate a workforce of over 1,200. The design of the building's interiors was intended to display 21st century India, described as an "amalgamation of tradition and technological advancement".
The Main Media Centre of the 2010 Commonwealth Games managed media-related activities, and comprised the International Broadcasting Centre and the Main Press Centre. It was set up in close proximity to the Games Village and the main venues at Pragati Maidan. State owned agencies managed both centres, with host broadcaster Prasar Bharti managing the International Broadcasting Centre and the Press Information Bureau managing the Main Press Centre. It was believed that by the time the Games are held, New Delhi would stop analogue broadcast and begin digital broadcast through a conditional access system, for which it is the first city in India to do so.
On 4 June 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between OC CWG Delhi 2010 and the India Tourism Development Corporation which officially recognised Hotel Ashok as the Games Family Hotel. Following a major facelift, the hotel served as host to members of Commonwealth Games Associations, the CGF, International Sports Federations, the Indian Olympic Association as well as technical delegates. Also, Hotel Ashok hosted the facilitation offices of OC CWG Delhi 2010 and the CGF, with all events, meetings and conferences held there.
Concerns over readiness and state of venues
Numerous concerns and controversies surfaced before and during the games which received media attention locally and internationally. Delays in the construction of the Games' venues were linked to corruption involving the Organising Committee. A number of infrastructural problems also occurred; these were highlighted by the collapse of a footbridge and the drop ceiling of the weightlifting venue. Less than two weeks before the opening ceremony, Commonwealth Games chief Mike Fennell wrote to the Indian Cabinet secretary, urging action in response to the Games Village being "seriously compromised." He said that although team officials were impressed with the international zone and main dining area, they were shocked by the state of accommodation. The BBC published photographs of the Games Village depicting the poor state of living quarters.
A number of countries expressed concern about unliveable conditions, with The Times of India reporting that the Scottish delegation apparently submitted a photograph of a dog defecating on a bed in the Games Village. Secretary general of the Organising Committee Lalit Bhanot countered the complaints of poor sanitation when he claimed that cultural differences accounted for differing standards of cleanliness in India and the western world. He was subsequently ridiculed by both the Indian and international media.
On the other hand, England's Chef de mission Craig Hunter praised the Games Village, remarking that "the Commonwealth Games Village here [in Delhi] is better than the Beijing Olympics". Bhanot claimed that the Games Village was "world-class" and "probably one of the best ever." Canadian Secretary of State (Sport) Gary Lunn supported the Games as well, claiming the Canadian delegation would "not get influenced by the negative publicity" surrounding the games. He added the difficulties faced by large events are often exaggerated by the media, as Canada had found during the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier in the year.
^ 1. Ludlow Castle, also known as the Ludlow Castle wrestling training centre, was a training facility for wrestling.
^ 2. The Delhi 2010 official website does not list any training venues for athletics and does not specify the Commonwealth Games Village as a training venue for aquatics. However, it states that in the Training Area, "athletes will be able to train for four sports – Athletics, Aquatics, Weightlifting/Para-sport Powerlifting and Wrestling". As a track and field and an Olympic-size pool could be found in the Training Area of the Games Village, it is taken that training for the sports of athletics and aquatics was provided in that venue, in addition to weightlifting and wrestling.
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