Commonwealth Games

History of the games

First held in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and originally called the British Empire Games, the Commonwealth Games as we know it is held every four years, with nations from the Commonwealth countries competing. Since it's beginning the games have had many name changes:
  • 1930 - The British Empire Games.
  • 1954 - The British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
  • 1970 - British Commonwealth Games.
  • 1978 - Commonwealth Games.
At the first games 400 athletes from eleven of the seventy-one Commonwealth countries competed in only six sports. Today at least ten but not more than fifteen sports are played. Women only competed in the swimming events at the first games!

The original competing countries:

  • Australia
  • Bermuda
  • British Guiana
  • Canada
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Newfoundland
  • New Zealand
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Wales

The original sports at the Hamilton games:

  • Boxing
  • Diving
  • Lawn bowls
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling

Countries which have hosted the games:

  • 1930 - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 
  • 1934 - London, England 
  • 1938 - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 
  • 1950 - Auckland, New Zealand 
  • 1954 - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 
  • 1958 - Cardiff, Wales 
  • 1962 - Perth, Western Australia, Australia 
  • 1966 - Kingston, Jamaica 
  • 1970 - Edinburgh, Scotland 
  • 1974 - Christchurch, New Zealand 
  • 1978 - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 
  • 1982 - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 
  • 1986 - Edinburgh, Scotland 
  • 1990 - Auckland, New Zealand 
  • 1994 - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 
  • 1998 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
  • 2002 - Manchester, England 
  • 2006 - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 
  • 2010 - New Delhi, India

Sports held at the games:

  • Archery
  • *Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling - Mountain, Road  Track
  • Diving
  • Fencing
  • Gymnastics - Artistic and Rhthymic
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • *Lawn bowls
  • *Netball - Women
  • Rowing
  • *Rugby 7s - Men
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • *Swimming
  • Synchronised swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Triathlon
  • Water polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling - Freestyle and Greco-Roman

    *Denotes games that are compulsory

Commonwealth games traditions

Athletes oath

An Oath is taken on behalf of all the competitors at the Opening Ceremony of each Games. The oath is: 

" We declare that we will take part in the Commonwealth Games of (year) in the spirit of true sportsmanship, recognising the rules which govern them and desirous of participating in them for the honour of our Commonwealth and for the glory of sport".

The Queens baton relay

The Queen is the Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, possibly the most well known traditions of the games is the Queen's Baton relay, first begun in 1958 in Cardiff, Wales. Traditionally the baton leaves Buckingham Palace (London), containing a message from her Majesty, it signifies the call for all athlete's to come together to celebrate the games. The 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games sees the baton travelling through all seventy-one Commonwealth nations in a year and a day!

For more information visit these sites

Gold Coast 2018 :- 

Official site of the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Commonwealth Games Federation :- 

Official site of the Commonwealth Games federation. This website contains information about the role of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and includes the complete history of the Commonwealth Games, a list of the Nations & Territories of the Commonwealth, and results from previous Commonwealth Games.

Australian Commonwealth Games Association :- 

Provides information about the Association, history of Australia at the games, links and more.

Online guide to lesson plans and activities

Classroom Resources :- 

A range of of rich, innovative and integrated classroom resources and activities have been created for all year groups and all subject areas.

Fifty-three countries are members of the Commonwealth. Our countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-one of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5 million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them. 

 This page was last updated March, 2016.