1891 - Founded by Astley cooper as a Festival. Initially a sporting contest amongst the countries of British origin aimed at combining sporting, military and literary events that would draw closer the ties and increase the goodwill and understanding of the Empire.
1911 - Termed as Festival of Empire. The games and coronation of His Majesty King George the Fifth was coincided. The games included field athletics, boxing, wrestling and swimming events. Initially a Silver cup 2’ 6” high weighing 340oz was presented to the winning country Canada.
1928 - Amsterdam No further development took place until 1928, when the Olympic Games were in progress in Amsterdam. The splendid feelings of friendliness between the Empire athletes at that Olympiad re-vitalized the idea for the revival of Empire meetings.
1930 - First official commonwealth Games at Hamilton. The events included field athletics, swimming, rowing, wrestling and lawn bowls. Great Britain pioneered.
1932 - Tenth Olympiad at Los Angeles. The British Empire Games Federation was constituted.
1951 - The federation was renamed ‘British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation’.
1966 - Jamaica.
1974 - Christchurch, the federation was renamed as ‘Commonwealth Games Federation’.
While the whole world is getting ready for the 2010 Commonwealth Games which will be held at Delhi, it is important to know about the history of the fascinating sporting event. This multinational sport event has a long history.
Considered as the second biggest sports event in the world after Olympics, the history of Commonwealth Games dates back to 1930s when the event was held for the first time. However, the concept of conducting a sports event like this trails back to1891.
It was Reverend Astley Cooper, who for the first time proposed for a common platform of sports for the members belonging to the British Empire. The underlying aim behind organizing for a sporting event like this was to increase better understanding and goodwill of the British Empire. The idea for organizing Commonwealth Games took shape during the Olympic Games of 1928. The first Commonwealth Games were held in Canada in Hamilton in the year 1930. The name of the event during that time was British Empire Games.
The first British Empire Games or Commonwealth Games were attended by 400 athletes coming from 11 nations. The name was changed to British Empire and Commonwealth Games in the year 1954. The year 1978 is witness to the final change in name from "British Empire and Commonwealth Games" to its present day name "Commonwealth Games." This world famous sporting event is held every four years and mainly involves the participation of the most talented athletes of the Commonwealth.
Presently there are 53 Commonwealth of Nations members. Out of the 71 teams, which individually participate in this event, only six teams have participated in all the Commonwealth Games that include nations like England, Australia, Scotland, New Zealand, England and Wales.
Commonwealth Games is often known as 'Friendly Games'. Some of the sports included in this grand sporting event include swimming, water polo, aquatics, diving, athletics, basketball, table tennis, shooting, weightlifting, fencing, boxing, rugby sevens, hockey, cycling, netball, squash, triathlon, badminton, synchronized swimming, bowls and gymnastics.
While Australia has scored the maximum number of times in the Commonwealth Games for ten games, England is the second highest scoring team for seven games; this country is followed by Canada for one.
Approved sports in CWG:
Gymnastics (Artistic and Rhythmic)