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Scotland’s Louise Martin says that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission are “Ready to be Inspired” by Durban’s bid for the 2022 Games, as they begin a four-day visit of the South African city.

Martin will chair the five-strong Commission, who are set to meet with Government and city partners who will help with the delivery of the Games, while they will also take in several competition and non-competition venues and facilities.

“As a Commonwealth Sports Movement, we cannot fail to be excited by the prospect of a first Commonwealth Games in Africa, and warmly welcome Durban and South Africa’s bid and congratulate the Durban Bid Team and their local and national partners for all the hard work they have put in so far,” said Martin, who previously chaired the successful bid for Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“This Evaluation Commission, however, has a very important job to do - to analyse and gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of the bid and hear first-hand the plans and strategies that will be put in place to deliver an inspiring and inclusive Games for everyone in seven years time.

“To borrow the bid team’s slogan, we are ready to be inspired.”

CGF chief executive David Grevemberg, who formerly held the same post at Glasgow 2014 will also be part of the Commission, alongside Andrew Ryan, executive director of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and a former Glasgow 2014 and current Gold Coast 2018 Coordination Commission member.

The experienced panel is completed by Ian Hooper, director of sport and special projects at Glasgow Life and Maxwell de Silva, secretary general of the Sri Lankan Commonwealth Games Association and National Olympic Committee.

Tubby Reddy, the Durban 2022 Bid Committee chief executive, predicted the Evaluation Commission will be impressed during their stay in the port city.

“There is no doubt that we have put up a quality bid which will far exceed the expectations of the CGF,” Reddy said.

“We have been meticulous and sensitive to all the demands from the City as well as from the CGF, and we believe that Durban has produced a world-class bid.

“Our belief in bringing the Games to Africa remains firm and very optimistic.”

The Commission will prepare a Bid Evaluation Report, following the visit to the sole bidder for the 2022 Games after Edmonton in Canada withdrew from the race, with the report set to be presented to CGF members no later than a month before the CGF General Assembly is due to take place in Auckland on September 2.

Durban’s bid is due to be voted on by the Commonwealth’s 71 nations and territories at the Assembly, while a vote will also be held to decide the CGF President, with Martin aiming to replace current incumbent Prince Imran of Malaysia, who is seeking a second term.

Mark Alexander, chairman of the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee believes that Durban will be able to highlight its capability to host the Games to the Commission throughout their visit.

“This is an another important step towards bringing the Games to Durban and a very significant milestone in the Bid process which, we believe, will go a long way in convincing the CGF assessment team that the City is ready and that we are able to meet our commitments that we presented to the CGF in London in March 2015,” Alexander said.

“We are confident that the City’s Bid team is fully prepared for the Evaluation Commission’s visit and that Durban will be the host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.”

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