Commonwealth Games History: The history of the Commonwealth Games is 92 years old from today. These games were organized for the first time in 1930. However, then these games were started in the name of ‘British Empire Games’. The game continued to be known by this name till 1950. The names of this game were changed three times ahead. From 1954 these games were called the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, which continued till 1966. After this, in 1970 and 1974, these games were called the British Commonwealth Games. Since 1978, they were named Commonwealth Games, which continues till now.
The credit for starting these games goes to a man from Canada, Bobby Robinson. Bobby Robinson was then a sports journalist, although he had also been an athletics coach. His efforts laid the foundation for organizing these games. Why Bobby Robinson started these games and what efforts he made for it, we will tell in our next article based on the history of Commonwealth Games. For the time being, we are here to tell you the story of its first event held 92 years ago.
On 16 August 1930, the British Empire Games were held in Hamilton, Canada. A total of 59 events of 8 sports were included in it. The special thing was that all these events were single matches i.e. no team event was involved in it.
A total of 400 players from 11 countries took part in this first British Empire Games. The Prince of Wales School, located near a civic stadium in Hamilton, was converted into an Athlete’s Village for these players to stay and practice. Surprisingly, arrangements were made for the accommodation of about two dozen players in each classroom here.
There was lack of basic facilities for the players and the entire event was also very simple. However, according to that era, no much complaint was received on this event. The special feature of this first event was that women only took part in swimming events here.
As the name suggests, the British Empire Games was attended by the same countries which were colonies of Britain till that time or had been colonies before. The competition included Australia, Bermuda, British Guiana, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Newfound Land, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. Athletics, boxing, lawn balls, rowing, swimming, diving, wrestling and running competitions were included in this event. A total of $ 97,973 i.e. Rs 78 lakh was spent on this entire event in that period.
A total of 165 medals were at stake in this first British Empire Games, in which England got a total of 61 medals, including 25 gold, while the host Canada had a total of 54 medals with 20 gold. Australia finished third here. Australia got eight medals with three gold.
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