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 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