The Commonwealth Games are fast approaching now, but not a lot of us know why and how they began. Let’s give you a nifty rundown of how it all started and what it’s all about.
When did the Commonwealth Games Start?
The first edition of the games was held in 1930 featuring 11 countries and was named the British Empire Games. Since then, it has represented the changing times and the organisation growing. Named the British Empire and Commonwealth games between 1954-1966, the British Commonwealth Games from 1970-1974 and since 1978 has stuck to the Commonwealth Games. I bet they are glad they don’t have to rebrand for a 5th time.
Who started the Games?
It all started with Melville Marks Robinson holding the first Games in Hamilton, Canada. Melville was inspired to start them after he attended the Inter-Empire Championships. This was a part of the Festival of Empire, which was held in London in 1911. This was a celebration of the coronation of King George V and it was a huge deal at the time, being the biggest single event held at The Crystal Palace!
Who can enter the Games?
The Games are limited to member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and their territories. If your geography general knowledge is good, you will know that there are 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. However, there are 72 teams that currently take part in the Commonwealth Games. This is because there are lots of territories that compete under their own flags. You can thank us if this comes up in your local pub quiz.
What sports make the Games?
Each games have a minimum of 10 sports that need to be included, with team sports in the mix as well. Team England has competed at every Games, the only one of 6 nations to do so. Team England is the second most successful nation in the history of the Games and has topped the medals table seven times. Come on England!
When are the Commonwealth Games this year?
This year they are being held in Birmingham between 28th July and 8th August. Enjoy a range of 19 different sports, taking place over 286 sessions, all done over 11 days of competition – now that’s a lot!
If you have got some tickets, you’re in for a real treat! If not, don’t worry as it will be on the TV, we will certainly be watching and cheering on Team England. You may even be able to get some last minute tickets for the Commonwealth Games by clicking here. Let’s get a win this year and work towards being the most successful team in the Commonwealth – we believe in you!