Sports: Bringing together nations
- The idea that all the Commonwealth nations could engage in one sporting event had been in people's minds since the 1800s.
- In 1911,the predecessor of what would eventually be the Commonwealth Games was held; it was called the 'Festival of Empire' and marked the coronation of King George V.
- Australia, Canada, SA and UK competed in games like swimming, boxing, wrestling and athletics.
Bringing together the Commonwealth
- In 1930, Canadian sporting legend Bobby Robinson brought to fruition the idea that had been around for a while.
- The first Commonwealth Games, then called the British Empire Games, were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada.
- The city of Hamilton provided over $30,000 to fund the travelling costs of the participants.
- 400 participants from 11 countries came together to take part in these games.
Knowing the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association formed by 53 countries, all of which were at one point under British rule. The 1949 London Declaration designated King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth; since then, the British monarch has held that position.
What's in a name?
- The games have been held regularly since inception, interrupted only during the war.
- They have seen several name changes; from 1930- 1950, they were called the British Empire Games.
- From 1954- 1966, they were known as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games; from 1970- 1974, they were called the British Commonwealth Games.
- In 1978, the Edmonton edition finally came to be called Commonwealth Games.
Games now appreciate team efforts as well
- The games have traditionally had only single participant events; the first games had 6 sports and 59 events.
- It was only at the 1998 Kuala Lampur edition, the first games hosted in Asia, that team events were introduced.
- Since then, the games have featured events like cricket, hockey (both men's and women's), rugby 7s and netball.
- Basketball was introduced at the 2006 Melbourne Games.
Queen's baton relay- a trip around the world
- The 2006 Melbourne games achieved a historical feat by being the first to have a Queen's Baton relay that visited every single Commonwealth nation and territory taking part in the Games.
- This journey of 180,000 kms ended with then Olympic great Herb Elliott, who entered the stadium with the baton.
- The baton was consequently presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the Governor of Victoria.
Durban to host 2022 Commonwealth Games
- Durban's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been successful.
- On 3 September, the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly in Auckland announced that Durban would host the 2022 games.
- Durban will create history by being the first African city to host the games.
- The 22nd edition of the games is slated to begin on the 18 July 2022, Nelson Mandela's 104th birthday.
All geared up for 2022
- Durban won the bid after becoming the only candidate; Edmonton had withdrawn in February, citing financial reasons.
- It promises to deliver a world-class event, having set aside a budget of 6.4 billion rand.
- Preparations are almost done; an athletics village and a shooting-range remain to be built.
- An athletics-track will be installed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, erected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.