It is an international event where countries, which were under British rule, take part and compete in various sports.
The 19th edition of the Common wealth games was held in New Delhi, India in the month of October. This was the first time that the game was held in India and the second time in Asia. 72 countries took part in 17 different sports.
History of the Commonwealth Games
Reverend Astley Cooper was the first person to suggest a sporting event to get the members of the British Empire together in 1891. He authored an editorial in The Times recommending a “Pan-Britannic Pan-Anglican competition and event to be held every four years as a way of enhancing the benevolence and good awareness about the British Empire”.
The Festival of the Empire was organized in London in 1911 to observe the coronation of the King George V of the United Kingdom. As a part of this event, an inter-empire competition was organized in which teams from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa participated in events like wrestling, boxing, athletics and swimming.
1928, Melville Marks (Bobby) Robinson, a reporter, was requested to arrange the first ever British Empire Games. It took place in Hamilton, Canada 2 years later.
The first Common Wealth Games were organized in Hamilton, Canada in 1930. The name of the event was changed to British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954. In 1970, the name was changed to British Commonwealth Games and the current name of the Commonwealth Games was taken up in the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
At the 1930 Hamilton Commonwealth Games, women’s participation was only limited to the swimming competitions. Since the 1934 Commonwealth Games, women started participating in a few athletic events.
The British Empire Games Association of Canada contributed the Empire Games Flag. The years and venues of consequent games were included till the Commonwealth Games in 1950. When the name of the event was altered to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, the flag was withdrawn as a consequence.
Initially the event was named as British Empire Games; in 1954 it was renamed as British Empire and Commonwealth Games and in 1970 it was known as British Commonwealth Games. By 1978, it got the current name, i.e. Commonwealth Games.
Commonwealth Games sports
The Commonwealth Games Federation has approved of a total of 31 sports along with 7 para-sports. The sports are categorized into three types – core sports, optional sports and recognized sports. Initially core sports consisted of track and field, rowing, wrestling, boxing, lawn bowls and swimming. Later on other events like badminton, hockey, weightlifting etc, were also included. The host country has the option of picking up a number of optional sports including team sports.
At present, there are 54 Commonwealth of Nation members that participate in the Commonwealth Games. Till date, 71 countries, bodies and territories competed in this prestigious multi-sport event.
Commonwealth Games Mascot
Commonwealth games logo and mascot symbolize the spirit and essence of the games. Till date 18 editions of the games have been organized in various countries and each game had its distinct mascot and logo. For each game, the mascot and logo are chosen keeping in mind the spirit of the games and the values of the host country.
Commonwealth Games Motto
The Motto of commonwealth games is Humanity-Equity-Destiny.