Costa Rica to host 2013 Central American games
The General Assembly and Executive Committee of the Confederation of Central American Sports Games (ORDECA) met over the weekend of the 1st to the 4th of July on Ambergris Caye. Over 45 delegates from all Central American countries convened at Banyan Bay Resort to present reports, elect a new composition of the Executive Committee and select the venue and date for the 2013 Central American Sports Game.
On hand to welcome the delegates on Friday was the President of the Belize Olympics Committee Edward “Ned” Pitts. Pitts told reporter Jorge Aldana that every four years, ORDECA meets to present reports, review plans, elect new board members and bid for a venue and date of the ORDECA Games. Pitts explained that it was the second time that Belize has hosted such high profile and important meeting and it is an opportunity for the delegation to take back to their countries what Belize has to offer.
During the official opening ceremony on Saturday, Mayor of San Pedro Elza Paz welcomed the delegation and invited them to enjoy the rich culture the island has to offer, especially since it was the weekend of the island’s patron San Pedro. In his opening remarks, Minister of Tourism Honorable Manuel Heredia also echoed Paz’s invitation and wished the delegation the best during their meetings.
Much of the meetings were held behind closed doors, but when the bidding process began, the local and international presses were invited to witness the occasion for the first time. Two countries were expected to make bids, the delegation of Panama which was headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Presidency office and the delegation of Costa Rica which was headed by the Minister of Sports. At the eleventh hour however, Panama withdrew its bidding leaving the floor open for Costa Rica alone to bid. Following an hour long presentation by the Costa Rican delegation, ORDECA unanimously voted that the next venue for the ORDECA 2013 Sports Games will be held in the city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Following the announcement made by ORDECA, the Costa Rican delegates jumped with happiness as tears ran down some of their faces.
Costa Rica Sports Minister Honorable Giselle Goyenaga told Jorge Aldana that their country was looking forward to hosting such prestigious event. “We came prepared to convince the ORDECA members that our country has what it takes to host the Central American Sports Games,” stated a jubilant Minister Goyenaga. Minister Goyenaga outlined the diverse culinary, high standard public transportation, state of the art facilities, banking agents, ample accommodations for visitors and maximum security system making it a safe place to host the ORDECA games. Speaking on behalf of the Costa Rican delegation, 1970 Olympics gold medalist, Sylvia Poll expressed that hosting the games is a huge step in their country history. “Both the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla and the Mayor of San Jose City has pledged their support to the ORDECA games and will invest the necessary monies to build the infrastructures required,” stated Poll
For their part, the Costa Rican government will invest in 38 different venues to host 22 Olympics sports. All the venues will be within a 10 kilometer radius around the Olympics village, a development which will be the largest for the Costa Rican Government in the next few years. The Olympics village will include a 24 hour sports clinic with all necessary specialist, a state of the art press conference room and press center to host as much as 300 print, electronic audio and visual medias, a Central Food court to accommodate 5,000 people at any given time and accommodations for the participants just to name a few. Ms. Poll ended by stating that “there is a lot of work to do and preparation for the games starts tomorrow when the President will make a formal statement to the media about the way forward.”
The host country has set the schedule for the 10th Central American Sports Game to run from 3rd to the 15th of March 2013. The ORDECA reunion ended on Saturday night with a dinner at Elvis Kitchen hosted by Minister Heredia. Top three finalists in each of the Central American Sports games move on to the Pan-American Games and then eventually to the Olympics if they qualify.