Vuvuzela breathes life into New Delhi Commonwealth Games

Posted: October 21, 2010 in News
Tags: , , , ,

By Cara-Lee Scheun

New Delhi, India

After numerous setbacks and negative talks for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), an unusually positive sound has finally made its début. It is a ‘blast from the past’ (well not that long ago), but the Organizing Committee (OG), has decided to breathe new life into the well known ‘South African’ vuvuzela at the CWG between 3 and 14 October.

The CWG host, New Delhi has suffered a large amount of setbacks, but still feels it is going to be a success, even after a footbridge that connects the JawaHarlal Nehru Stadium track field and opening and closing ceremony grounds to the parking lot, collapsed and injured 23 workers. With less than two weeks to go before the opening ceremony, deadlines for the bridge needed to be shifted once again.

Only days after the disaster of the footbridge, safety issues for tourists have been raised when two tourists were shot and wounded by gunmen near a mosque, the Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

The Commonwealth Federation president, Michael Fennell said that “the Cabinet Secretary has to deploy the necessary resources to fix the outstanding issues to an acceptable level, immediately.” This will include more security, medical and construction staff – seeing as there has also been much speculation about corruption in the awarding of contracts and structural conforming certificates.

One issue the host city can’t seem to get sorted out is the athlete’s village. Many of the teams have sent small ‘preparation squads’ to New Delhi to ensure the accommodation arrangements are equipped and booked. The majority of them reported back saying the conditions are “unliveable” and are far below standard hygiene. Another problem was that only half of the villages were completed, but organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said that “everything possible will be done to assure the completion of the villages”.

Finally, after all the debates on cancelling the event, and following that only 200 000 of the 1.7 million tickets were sold, the first-time CWG host is starting to hear a more positive sound. After the Organizing Committee has declared the vuvuzela to be integrated within the CWG 2010, a sudden new enthusiasm and excitement has taken course.

The vuvuzela was, for many, the soundtrack of the FIFA World Cup South Africa. Though many hoped not to hear that instrument again, such as at the Wimbledon tennis Grand Slam and UEFA competitions, Delhi feels it will bring a good spirit to the CWG.

The massive event which is held every four years, brings more than 7000 athletes and officials together from 71 countries. Unlike previous CWG, the normal merchandising such as shirts, mugs and hats with the different countries’ unique style, the vuvuzela seems to take the number-one rank for bestseller at only 250 Rupees (R38).


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