Connect with us

Governing Bodies

All you need to know about the Commonwealth Games



Team Nigeria set to shine again at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games opens this Thursday night in Birmingham as the 22nd edition of the competition. Sports Village Square brings to you points of interest about the games.

  • Nigeria have participated in 15 of the previous 21 editions.
  • Barbados are taking part for the first time since they replaced the Queen of England as head of State in 2020. It is the third time is taking place in England after those of London 1930 and Manchester 2002. But overall, it is the seventh time it is taking place in the UK.
  • The Queen doesn’t need to be the head of state for a nation to be included in the Commonwealth, or in the Commonwealth Games. Rwanda, for example, was never part of the British Empire but joined the Commonwealth in 2009 and has competed at the Games ever since. This year, around 20 Rwandans are expected to compete in athletics, beach volleyball, swimming and cycling. So far, the nation has not won a Commonwealth medal.
  • Cameroon, not colonised by the British joined the Commonwealth in 1995 and  has competed at every Commonwealth Games since
  • No African nation has ever hosted it. Nigeria bided unsuccessfully for the 2014 edition which was intended to mark the 100th year of the country as a nation.
  • With 72 different nations and territories set to compete for glory this time around, the 2022 games are set to be the biggest ever with 280 different events across 20 sports scheduled to take place over a two-week period.
  • The Commonwealth, or the Commonwealth of Nations, is a political association that currently has 56 member states. 
  • The link between those nations is that the majority of them, including Nigeria use to be former territories of the British Empire.
  • The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport competition that takes place every four years with certain nations invited to take part.
  • The 56 member states of the Commonwealth are invited to participate alongside 18 other territories who do not compete separately in the Olympics but compete in the Commonwealth Games under their own flags. 
  • Similarly, Team Great Britain, who take part in the Olympics as a nation, are split into 14 separate teams during the Commonwealth Games. Those are the four home nations – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales -,  three crown dependencies and all but three inhabited overseas territories. 
  • The first Commonwealth Games took place in Hamilton, Canada back in 1930 with the 2022 competition in Birmingham, United Kingdom being the 22nd edition of the games. 
  • Even though the USA used to make up part of the British Empire, the country does not take part in the Commonwealth Games.  The United States declared independence from Britain in 1776 and has never been part of the Commonwealth during its 73-year existence.
  • As of July 22, all 72 Commonwealth Games Associations have confirmed they will send athletes to the 2022 games in Birmingham. Those associations are: 
  • Anguilla 
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • England (Host) 
  • Eswatini
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • The Gambia
  • 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 
  • Papa New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Scotland
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore 
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Wales
  • Zambia 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading