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Commonwealth Games

The Origins of the Games

The British Empire Games were first conducted in 1930 and have been conducted every four years since excluding 1942 and 1946 due to World War II. Rowing was included as a sport in 1930, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1986.

The first recorded Commonwealth event was however, conducted in 1911 and known as the "Festival of Empire". It was held in connection with the Coronation of His Majesty King George V. The programme consisted of track & field, boxing, wrestling and swimming. The most successful nation was Canada and they were presented by Lord Lonsdale with a magnificent silver trophy of some 2 feet 6 inches high.

The idea of an Empire Games was reignited by the friendliness amongst Empire athletes at 1928 Olympic Games. The revival of the Empire meeting was established.

The first Commonwealth Games (then known as the British Empire Games) took place in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1930. Bobby Robinson, a key force within athletics in Canada, finally initiated the event that had been talked about amongst Commonwealth nations for over thirty years. Eleven countries boasting 400 athletes in total participated in the first Games. $30,000 was provided by the City of Hamilton to these nations in order to defray travel costs of teams.

1938 souvenir programme

Souvenir Programme
1938 Sydney Australia

Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years except for 1942 and 1946, due to World War II. Seventeen Games have been held in total, with three of these hosted by Australian cities — Sydney 1938, Perth 1962 and Brisbane 1982. A fourth Australian city, Melbourne, will host the Games in 2006.

From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games until 1962. From 1966 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games and from 1978 onwards they have been known simply as the Commonwealth Games.

While other Games around the globe have been founded on geographic or climatic factors such as the Asian, Pan American, African Games and Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games has been founded on history.

It is said that one of the unique characteristics of the Commonwealth Games included being the only Games which share a common language. All athletes and officials can converse with each other in English, creating an atmosphere that has led to the Commonwealth Games being long known as the "Friendly Games".

The Commonwealth Games Association claim that unlike other sporting events, the Commonwealth Games brings together nations from every corner of the world in a unique family spirit of shared history, of common experiences, of a uniting language, of links that transcend cultural barriers and physical borders.

In Australia, the governing body is the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.

Australian representation and results at:

(*indicates Games in which rowing was included)

 

Future Commonwealth Games


Rowing Events

1930
Men’s single scull, double scull, coxless four, coxed four and eight.

1950
Men’s single scull, double scull, coxless pair, coxed four and eight.

1958
Men’s single scull, double scull, coxless pair, coxless four, coxed four and eight.

1986
Men’s single scull, double scull, coxless pair, coxless four, coxed four, eight, lightweight single and lightweight four.
Women’s single scull, double scull, coxless pair, coxed four, eight, lightweight single scull and lightweight double scull.


Previous Host Countries

The Commonwealth Games as we know them today began as the British Empire Games in 1930 in Hamilton,

Games per Country

Canada 4
New Zealand 3
Australia 3
England 2
Scotland 2
Wales 1
Jamaica 1
Malaysia 1

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