2010 South Asian Games
|XI South Asian Games|
'Kutumb' , a flying Doel, which is the national Bird of Bangladesh is the official logo for the games
|Host city||Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|Athletes participating||2,000+ (estimated)|
|Opening ceremony||January 29|
|Closing ceremony||February 8|
|Officially opened by||Sheikh Hasina Wazed|
|Main Stadium||Bangabandhu National Stadium|
The 2010 South Asian Games, officially the 11th South Asian Games, is a major multi-sport event, scheduled to take place from January 29 to February 8, 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This will be the third time that the Bangladeshi capital hosts the Games, thus becoming the 4th city to host the Games multiple times (after Colombo, Kathmandu and Islamabad).
Change in date
Originally, the 11th South Asian Games were scheduled to take place in November 2009. However, the host country, Bangladesh, faced hurdles due to general elections. As a result, the South Asian Association Council (SAOC) held the 39th Executive Meeting and decided against hosting the Games in 2009, thus postponing the games to (early) 2010.
The 11th South Asian Games, hy the biggest sporting extravaganza of the region, got underway at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday with a "spectacular" opening ceremony marked by great fanfare and enthusiasm. A cultural show and an aquatic display reportedly had "the audience gripped", while the pyrotechniques lit up the night sky of Dhaka bringing an excellent ending to a three-and-a-half hour spectacle.
The opening ceremony started with the march past by the athletes from the participating eight countries. Afghanistan led the march while hosts Bangladesh finished it amid a great deal of cheers from the crowd. Famed shooter Asif Hossain Khan carried the red and green flag to lead the 453-strong Bangladesh contingent.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, also the chairman of the organising committee of Games, urged the athletes to uphold the spirit of the modern Olympic movement "Faster, Higher, Stronger" (Citius, Altius, Fortius) in his welcome speech.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed officially declared the Games by open setting free pigeons. Thousands of colourful balloons and pigeons were released simultaneously into the air to mark an auspicious beginning.
The torch of the Games, which started its journey from the Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka a week ago, was nested by legendary footballer Kazi Salauddin. The torch entered the stadium in the hands of Sports organiser Lutfunnesa Haque Bakul. It was then relayed through the length of the stadium by noted sports personalities of the country including cricketer Roquibul Hassan, shooter Atiqur Rahman, swimmer Bazlur Rahman and boxer Mosharraf Hossain. Lastly, Salauddin was elevated to the torch stand where he kindled the torch of the Games.
The Games mascot, 'Kutumb', took a trip around the athletics track accompanied by its predecessors 'Duranto' and 'Mishuk'.
The athletes, having taken their seats in the gallery, saw teh beginning of the cultural show. Students from different schools danced to songs while the display at the gallery changed its colours to the tune of the songs. Songs ranged from folk to patriotic themes as the display depicted rural Bengal in quieter times, martyred intellectuals, seven Birshreshthas and above all the father of the nation - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the current Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiek Hasina Wazed.
Indigenous Santals enacted a dance drama titled "Nacholer Rani" depicting the bravery of legendary activist Ila Mitra and her followers in their movement against the British colonialism.
Members of defence forces too entertained the crowd with colourful displays.
As the evening set in, the lights went off and the sound of thunder and hailstorm created an atmosphere of great calamity. The incidents before and during the War of Liberation were portrayed through a simultaneous projection of light, sound and laser. The aquatic displays at the western gallery were complemented by the background music and laser show. The spitting flames and the fountains created an ideal background to the performers on the water.
As the music and the dance built up almost to a crescendo, fireworks went up into the night sky, bringing an end to the Opening ceremony of the Games.
The South Asian Games Organizing Committee (SAGOC) approved the formation of 20 sub-committees to look after the needs of each aspect of the Games, and also to ensure that work proceeded continuously. These sub-committees include the ceremonious committee, the co-ordination committee and the security committee.
Logo and Mascot
The logo of the 11th SAF Games is 'Kutumb' which is in fact is a flying doel, known in English as Oriental Magpie Robin. It is the National Bird of Bangladesh. The logo was designed by Bangladeshi artist Moniruzzaman.
The mascot of these games also features the magpie robin, holding the torch which would begin the games.
A total of 8 countries will participate in the 2010 South Asian Games.
There are 23 official sports for the 11th SAF Games. They are :-