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Finally, there’s a buzz in Village

As any news about the Games spreads like wildfire, there is something optimistic for the organisers. The International Zone in the Village has been a major hit with teams.

other Updated: Sep 26, 2010 23:40 IST
Moonmoon Ghosh

As any news about the Games spreads like wildfire, there is something optimistic for the organisers. The International Zone in the Village has been a major hit with teams. Recreational facilities, a golf simulator, general merchandise store — all have made the guests feel at home.

A delegation from Scotland, who arrived on Sunday morning, is living on the sixth floor in Tower 2. Strolling inside the International zone, a trio of Scottish weightlifters looked happy with the facilities. Jim Holland, manager of weightlifting, said, “We are very pleased with the accommodation. Six of us are sharing a flat and there is a bathroom in every room. So two guys share it between them. During the Melbourne Games, eight of us had to share a bathroom. So it’s better here.” Hailing from Glasgow, the Rangers and Barcelona fan has the Taj Mahal on his list of places to visit.

Weightlifter Thomas Yule said, “The flats here are definitely bigger than the ones we had in Melbourne.” Coach Chick Hamilton also agreed and said the weightlifters would be practicing at the Village early on Monday morning.

Five members of Team Jersey have been staying at the Village, with 52 athletes set to arrive on Wednesday. Dianne Huddlestone, accompanying official, said she was satisfied with the living conditions. “The Village has very good facilities. It is reassuring to see so much of security here as it is a big necessity.” The members visited the Nehru Stadium on Saturday evening and caught the practice for the opening ceremony. “The huge balloon (aerostat) looked wonderful, so were the dances and songs. I am sure the Games will be spectacular,” said Huddlestone.

A Cameroon delegation, comprising 16 athletes (wrestling, weightlifting, athletics and boxing) and four officials, also moved into the Village on Sunday. Michel Nkolo, Cameroon team official, said, “We haven’t really been around the place as we just moved in today. But the facilities look satisfactory.” But the 25-member contingent from Trinidad & Tobago has been living at the Hotel Ashoka due to “unfinished flats.” Swimming, shooting, cycling, archery and boxing teams have arrived, with the hockey, netball, and track and field teams due to reach in two-three days’ time. Having visited the SPM Aquatics Complex with the swimmers, team official Paul Newallo was all praise and said, “The swimming complex is extremely nice.” He also said that the team faced no problems commuting to and from the hotel as the “CWG lanes are working well.”

The kitchen in the Village has proved to be a massive hit with the tourists. Calling the food “excellent”, Huddlestone said, “I love the fish curry, the vegetarian dishes and the naan here.” Similarly, Holland is a big fan of Indian cuisine and wants to try out biriyani, chicken tikka and tandoori items.

Shubhodeep adds: Brunei’s lawn bowls team arrived and a member said, “I am very excited to be in India. I am looking forward to the Games.” The wrestling, boxing and weightlifting teams of Nigeria also arrived, along with two Aussie swimmers. The swimmers refused to comment, citing instructions from security personnel at the airport. Norfolk Islands, archery member said: “we are heading straight to the Village... We’ve been in touch with our chef de mission.”