In 1891, John Astley Cooper first wrote about a sporting competition that would bring organized members of the British Empire, but it wasn’t until 1911, at the coronation of King George V, that an ‘Inter-Empire Championships’ was held. This occasion included teams from Australasia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom. They competed in athletics, boxing, wrestling and swimming events.
The first official Commonwealth Games (called the British Empire Games) were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. Four hundred athletes from 11 countries competed in 59 events across six sports: athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, aquatics (swimming and diving) and wrestling. Interestingly, women only competed in swimming events. The competing nations were: Australia, Bermuda, British Guyana, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II) and the event has seen many changes, not least in its name. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, from 1954 until 1966 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. It was the 1978 Games in Edmonton that saw this unique, world class, and multi-sports event change its name to the Commonwealth Games.
Commonwealth Games fast facts
- The Queen’s baton relay, an opening tradition of the games, sees the Queen’s baton carried 190,000 km, that’s the equivalent of going around the earth almost 4.25 times.
- Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth games – Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.
- The first commonwealth games type event was called the ‘Festival of Empire’ and was held in London in 1911. This event was organized to celebrate the coronation of King George V.
- The most successful nation in the history of the Commonwealth games is Australia. They’ve won 803 gold medals and have a total medal count of over 2,000!
- Between 1990 and 2002 the Nauruan weightlifter Marcus Stephen won twelve medals – seven of which were gold. In 2007 he was elected president of Nauru.
- Australia’s youngest gold medal winner was swimmer Jenny Turrell, who was just 13 when she competed at the 1974 Games in Christchurch.
- Amazingly, while 71 countries are eligible to compete in the Commonwealth Games, only six have attended every Games since 1930. These are Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.
Host Cities and Country of Common wealth Games
After the 1938 Games in Sydney, the British Empire Games Federation allocated the 1942 Games to Montreal, Canada. The Games were officially abandoned following the outbreak of World War II. Canada was given the first option on the 1950 Games but declined.
List of Games which is played in Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The first Commonwealth Games only included six sports. Today, the host nation include many of sports on their program:
- Rugby Sevens
- Table Tennis
 “Commonwealth Games”, available online at: https://www.forteachersforstudents.com.au/site/themed-curriculum/commonwealth-games/facts/#sports
 “5 interesting Commonwealth Games facts”, available online at: https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/inventions/5-surprising-origins-of-well-known-things/
 “Commonwealth Games 2018 Sports”, available online at: http://www.bbc.com/sport/commonwealth-games/sports
 “Host Cities”, available online at: https://www.topendsports.com/events/commonwealth-games/hosts/index.htm
 Tony Connelly, “BBC holds on to Commonwealth Games broadcast rights with 2018 Gold Coast deal”, available online at: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/03/14/bbc-holds-commonwealth-games-broadcast-rights-2018-gold-coast-deal