Lusofonia postponement a blessing: Chandra

PTI, PANAJI | 28 September 2013 12:20 IST

The postponement of the Lusofonia Games has come as a blessing in disguise for Goa as it will allow better testing of the facilities, which could help in the successful conduct of the Games, the organisers said today.

Keshav Chandra, CEO of Lusofonia Games Organising Committee (LUOC), said this during a customary press briefing on the developments off and on the field of the Games, now rescheduled for January 18-29 next year. 

"As the construction (of stadia) got delayed, the delay was questioned as to whether we would have enough time to test the facilities and now that we have got time we can test the venues, which can determine the success of the Games," Chandra said while talking about the impact they made on the ACOLOP (Association of Portuguese speaking countries) committee during their meeting in Macau last week on the need to defer the Games. 

"They (ACOLOP) too knew that despite all the constraints, Goa never gave up, they knew we were serious about our work, and realised that we had made unprecedented efforts, so we got two months of breathing time." 

The LUGOC also announced the registration of nearly 3,000 volunteers for the 11-day sporting event. 

The registered candidates will be screened before zeroing on the actual requirement of 2000 volunteers. 

Of these, 150 have been registered, who can converse in Portuguese as most of the around-1,000 athletes and about 500 support staff for the Games would be speaking that language. 

Explaining the preparations, D P Dwivedi, Secretary (Education), who is the head of the Volunteers segment of the Games, informed that his team went around 33 colleges to draw the volunteers. 

He said that sports-specific training will be imparted to the volunteers by the Goa Institute of Management. 

Dwivedi said there is possibility of paying the volunteers -- they will have a daily allowance of Rs 300. 

Chandra said the test events would be held in the first week of December during the visits of chef-de-missions of all the participating countries.

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