h Comon­wealt -GAMESFACTS

WITH JUST 12 MONTHS TO GO HERE ARE SOME FUN FACTS AND TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD FOR THE FES­TI­VAL WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE GOLD COAST NEXT YEAR. YOU’RE WEL­COME!

The Hockey Paper - - FEATURE -

The Com­mon­wealth Games are held ev­ery four years. The first event was held in Hamil­ton, On­tario, Canada in 1930 when they were known as the Bri­tish Em­pire Games. The ‘Bri­tish’ bit was ditched in 1974.

There are 53 Com­mon­wealth Coun­tries but 71 Com­mon­wealth Games As­so­ci­a­tions be­cause some coun­tries have more than one CGA. For ex­am­ple, the United King­dom is a sin­gle Com­mon­wealth coun­try but has seven CGA’s, en­abling Eng­land, Scot­land, Wales, North­ern Ire­land, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man to com­pete as sep­a­rate na­tions. ( Don’t tell Theresa May!).

The last Games were in Glas­gow, in 2014 while the Gold Coast ex­trava- ganza will be the 21st edi­tion over­all.

There is flex­i­bil­ity in the sport­ing pro­gramme and na­tions tend to pick ones they are good at – for ex­am­ple, Malaysia added Ten-pin bowl­ing to the ros­ter for Kuala Lumpur in 1998. It back­fired a lit­tle as al­though the hosts won the men’s sin­gles and dou­bles gold, Aus­tralia picked up the two women’s events plus the mixed.

Ten-pin has not been back since and now each can­di­date city must in­clude a min­i­mum of 10 core sports plus up to seven from a list of op­tional sports. No more than four team sports are al­lowed. Hockey, for men and women, is now a core sport.

Un­like the Olympics which have a sep­a­rate event, para sport is in­te­grated into the Com­mon­wealths. Cities must pick four core sports and add up to three op­tional ex­tras.

The Games are big and seem to be get­ting big­ger. Manch­ester at­tracted 5,717 ath­letes in 2002, Mel­bourne 5,766 in 2006, Delhi 6,584 in 2010 and Glas­gow 7,352.

The host city is se­lected by the CGF seven years in ad­vance, un­less you are Dur­ban, South Africa, which has just been stripped of the right to host in 2022. Cue an English race to step in from Liver­pool, Manch­ester and even Lon­don.

Aus­tralia have won the most gold medals over­all (852) with Eng­land sec­ond (669).

When’s the Gold Coast thing hap­pen­ing? April 4- 15, 2018.

How can you get there? Sign up to the news­let­ter on the Gold Coast web­site (www.gc2018.com). Tick­ets will be avail­able from April 24.

King pins: Ten-pin bowl­ing was a Games’ sport in 1998

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