The “British Empire Games” …

A bit about the history of the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games had their grand origins in an 1891 editorial in the Times by the Reverend Astley Cooper who suggested a “Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing the goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire”.

The idea began to come together in 1911, when the Festival of the Empire was held in London to celebrate the coronation of King George V. In 1930, Canada organized the first official “British Empire Games”. These were held in Hamilton, Ontario.

As well as many Olympic sports, the Games also include some sports that are played mainly in Commonwealth countries, such as lawn bowls, rugby sevens and netball. There are currently 53 Commonwealth nations and 71 participating teams.

The name changed to The British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, to British Commonwealth Games in 1970 and assumed the current name of the Commonwealth Games in 1978.

To counterweight the Commonwealth Games, The Jeux de la Francophonie (Francophone Games) are held every four years since 1989. They are open to athletes and artists of the 56 Francophone member nations.

In 2010 the Commonwealth Games come to New Delhi, India along with “the goodwill and good understanding” of the world that the Reverend Cooper had envisioned.

Official Website: Commonwealth Games

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