History Of Commonwealth Games: Symbol Of 'Colonial Legacy' To One Of World's Biggest Multi-Sport Events

Commonwealth Games 2022: The multi-sports competition will begin on July 28 and will continue till August 8 this year in UK's Birmingham. Scroll to check more information about this year's CWG

By Ashita Singh
Updated: Wed, 06 Jul 2022 02:20 PM IST
Minute Read
History Of Commonwealth Games: Symbol Of 'Colonial Legacy' To One Of World's Biggest Multi-Sport Events

Commonwealth Games 2022 will begin on July 28 and end on August 8 this year in UK's Birmingham. Started in the year 1930, the Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport competition where only the Commonwealth of Nations and their territories are eligible to participate. This multi-sports event is now considered one of the biggest, only after sporting events such as Olympics.

Simply put, the Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary group of 54 sovereign nations, most of which were former colonies of the erstwhile British Empire or its dependants.

The creation of the Games was inspired by the Inter-Empire Championships, as a part of the Festival of Empire, which was held in London in 1911. At the suggestion of John Astley Cooper in 1891, a festival was to be organised every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and a good understanding of the British Empire.

The event was first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada and since then it has taken place every 4 years. A total of 11 nations accumulating 400 athletes participated in CWG 1930. The commonwealth games were known as British Empire Games and it was later in 1975, it got its name Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games is considered one of the most significant products of British Colonialism as its purpose was twofold, one to mark as British Crown as the symbolic head of all its former colonies and on the other hand to maintain cordial relations with their subjects while acknowledging their free status.

Undivided India, under British rule, participated in the 1934 and 1938 Games as one team. After India’s partition in 1947, India and Pakistan both participated at the 1954 CWG.

Although there are currently 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 72 teams currently participate in the Commonwealth Games, as it is a feature of the Commonwealth Games that a number of dependent territories that do not compete separately at the Olympic Games, compete in the Commonwealth Games under their own flags.

Only six nations have participated in every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. Of these six, Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand have each won at least one gold medal in every game. Australia has been the highest achieving team for thirteen editions of the Games, England for seven, and Canada for one. India on the other hand is also one of the top performers in the previous editions of the Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games 2022: Full List of competing countries and territories

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • England
  • Eswatini
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guernsey
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Isle of Man
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Scotland
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Helena
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Tanzania
  • The Gambia
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Wales
  • Zambia


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