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News - Commonwealth Games

altMay 8 - Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive Mike Hooper has praised the contribution of Mark Stockwell in helping the Gold Coast win the right to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games but said that the hugely controversial decision to fire him is fully down to the relevant bodies in Australia.

Stockwell (pictured above, left), a former swimmer who won three medals at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, played a huge role in helping the Queensland city secure the international, multisport event as chairman of the bid team that defeated sole rivals Hambantota of Sri Lanka by 43 votes to 27 at the CGF General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis.

The 48-year-old was unsurprisingly confirmed as chairman of Gold Coast 2018 by former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), who was known to be close to Stockwell.

But Bligh was ousted from office in March after she was crushed in the State elections by Campbell Newman, the new Queensland Premier, of the Liberal National Party (LNP).

Newman appointed Jann Stuckey as the Commonwealth Games Minister and it was left to Stuckey to confirm that Stockwell had been sacked as she claimed that it was time to "transition to a Board that has the confidence of the Government, the [Australia] Commonwealth Games Association, and the public".

It is widely believed that Stockwell had been sacked due to the fact that he was appointed by Bligh (pictured below, second left) but while the CGF chief executive refused to comment on the speculation, he praised Stockwell and admitted that the organisation respects the decision that has been made.

alt
"The decision to appoint a board for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a matter for the Queensland Government and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) and we respect that," Hooper (pictured top, right with Stockwell) told insidethegames.

"Mark obviously made a great contribution to the Gold Coast, to Queensland and to Australia in leading their successful bid team and he deserves full credit for that.

"We wish Mark well for the future and we look forward to meeting with the new Government and the new Board when the CGF President [Prince Tunku Imran] and I visit the Gold Coast for an update on preparations in June."

The new board will be set up this week with Nigel Chamier, a Brisbane businessman who, like Stockwell, is a property developer, set to be named as the new chairman after backing from the ACGA.

ACGA chairman Sam Coffa (pictured above, first left), who helped appoint Stockwell as chairman, has publically denied that his organisation wanted to see Stockwell go, while Premier Newman refused to shed any light on the issue, simply saying that it was "now time to go to the second stage of this, which is to deliver the Games".

Stockwell reportedly clashed with the new Government over where to build the Athletes' Village for the Games.

He wanted to locate it in Parklands, an area of the city that includes pavilions, showgrounds and function areas but there was opposition to the plan from the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club, the Gold Coast Show Society and Big Day Out organisers, who wanted the village relocated.

 

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun

altMay 6 - Mark Stockwell has been sacked as the chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Organising Committee despite being the driving force behind the city's successful bid for the Commonwealth Games.

The new Liberal National Party (LNP) State Government, who won the election six weeks ago, confirmed the new Board would not include Stockwell, a former swimmer who won three medals at the 1984 Los Angeles, two silver and a bronze.

The 48-year-old Stockwell is now a successful property developer but he has reportedly clashed with the new Government over where to build the Athletes' Village for the Games.

He wanted to locate it Parklands, an area of the city that includes pavilions, showgrounds and function areas.

But there was opposition to the plan from the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club, the Gold Coast Show Society and Big Day Out organisers, who wanted the Village relocated.

New Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey now appears to have backed their concerns.

Announcing that Stockwell will be replaced she said it was time to "transition to a Board that has the confidence of the Government, the [Australia] Commonwealth Games Association, and the public".

Stuckey added: "To ensure that these Games are delivered on time, and importantly on budget, the LNP Newman Government needs to put in place a Board that will quickly get on with the major infrastructure planning and delivery of this billion-dollar event.

"What is needed now for the Gold Coast Games are well-credentialed people who have qualifications in law, finance, development, and the commercial sector along with prominent sporting people who can make a significant contribution in the building and operations of the Games.

"The composition of Commonwealth Games Board is crucial and the Government is working hard to strike the right balance."

altThere are widespread suspicions that Stockwell has been sacked because he was appointed by Labour's former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (pictured in red with Stockwell), who has now been replaced by Campbell Newman.

The decision will alarm senior executives at the Commonwealth Games Federation and the new set-up will now be top of the agenda when President Prince Tunku Imran and chief executive Mike Hooper visit the Gold Coast next month for a progress update.

It means that none of the key members of the team that delivered the Gold Coast 2018 bid are involved in organising the Games with the city's Mayor Ron Clarke having stepped down to be replaced last month by Tom Tate, a local millionaire businessman

Stockwell refused to hit out at the decision to replace him.

"I respect people can change their views," he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"We have taken the Gold Coast around the world," he said.

"I am grateful to have had that opportunity.

"I am standing by to help in any way I can from here.

"This event can change people's lives and it can change cities."

 

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

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