The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event held every four years. This is a multisport event contested by athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. Earlier it used to be known as British Empire Games, but later renamed as Commonwealth Games. The present year, England is hosting the event from 28 July to 8 August in Birmingham. It’ll be the third time the country has hosted the event. The country to host the event the most is Australia, having welcomed athletes five times since it began.
Apart from being one of the most prestigious multi-sporting events in the world, the Commonwealth Games are also one of the most inclusive as Athletes with a disability are considered full members of their national teams, which means the medals they earn are counted with their country’s. It is also the first global sporting event to have an equal number of men’s and women’s events.
In 1891, a person named John Astley Cooper wrote a letter to The Times newspaper suggesting that a sporting event is held every four years as a means of “increasing goodwill and understanding of the British Empire.” His campaigning is what inspired Pierre de Coubertin to reinvent what we now know as the Olympic Games.
In 1911, the Festival of the Empire was held in London to celebrate the coronation of George V. Part of the festival, the Inter-Empire Championship encouraged Melville Marks Robinson (also known as Bobby Robinson) to lobby for the British Empire Games once again.
Bobby Robinson was successful and the first British Empire Games were held in Hamilton, Canada, his home country. The games began in 1930, the same year as John Astley Cooper’s death. John Astley Cooper has since become known as the founder of the British Empire Games, or what we now know as the Commonwealth Games.
Listen Podcast on Commonwealth Games Podcasts
Commonwealth Stories, is a Podcast speaks to people from a host of nations, from Africa to Asia, from North America to the Caribbean. You’ll hear the stories and thoughts of people from all walks of life, from gold medal winning athletes to local business owners, from artists to care workers. All with one thing in common – they have all found a home in Birmingham.
Commonwealth Stories is a Laudable production. Written and hosted by Nathan Clarke, Aida Fofana, Anisah Vasta and Matt Millard. Produced, edited and narrated by Matt Millard and Title music by KIOKO
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