When was the first Commonwealth Games?


The Opening Ceremony begins on July 28 at the city’s Alexander Stadium, nearly 10 years after the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Register to our World of Sport newsletter

The Games, being hosted in England for the third time, offer a packed schedule with 11 full days of events.


Here’s everything you need to know.

When were the first Commonwealth Games?


The first Commonwealth Games took place in August 1930.

Canadian track and field athlete Harry Jerome (1940-1982) won heat 1 in the men’s 100 yards in 1962 (Image: Getty Images)

Originally known as the British Empire Games, the events included: athletics, boxing, bowling, rowing, swimming and wrestling.


Women were allowed to attend the event but were only allowed to participate in water sports such as swimming.

The Games were inspired by the Inter-Empire Championships held in London in 1911 and were founded and organized by Canadian journalist Bobby Robinson after he attended the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.


Where were the first Commonwealth Games held?

The first Commonwealth Games were held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The opening and closing ceremonies took place at the Civic Stadium in Hamilton.

Athletes enjoy a break at the 1930 Commonwealth Games (Image: Getty Images)

Which nations competed?


The first event was much smaller than today.

It consisted of 11 countries and a total of 400 athletes.


Here are the nations that took part in the first Commonwealth Games:

  • Australia
  • Bermudas
  • British Guiana
  • Canada
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Newfoundland
  • New Zealand
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Wales

One of the entries, Newfoundland is no longer an independent country, it became part of Canada after joining as a province in 1949.


Who won the most gold medals?

The country that won the most gold medals at the first Commonwealth Games was England.


England finished at the top of the medal table, taking home a total of 61 medals, 25 gold, 23 silver and 13 bronze.

Second was Canada with a total of 54 medals, including 20 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals.


What is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth was formed in December 1931 and has its origins in the former British Empire.


It was created so that the UK could maintain a connection with former territories that had since sought independence from British rule.

It currently consists of 56 countries that were former British territories.


The total population of the Commonwealth is estimated at 2.4 billion people.

Here are the countries that make up the Commonwealth:

  • anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermudas
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominika
  • England (hosts)
  • Eswatini
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Granada
  • guernsey
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Isle of Man
  • Jamaica
  • jersey
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • new
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. 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

What were the games called?

The Commonwealth Games began as the British Empire Games in 1930 and became the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and the British Commonwealth Games from 1970 to 1974.


Since 1974 they have been called the Commonwealth Games.