Like the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport global event that happens every four years with various countries from around the world. But what else is there to know about the Commonwealth Games? Here are some facts that you should know about it. In this post, we will also discuss what is Commonwealth. We will also tell you about Commonwealth games 2022, i.e. starting from 28 July to 8 August 2022.
The Commonwealth is a collection of 54 countries that are home to 2.5 billion people. That’s almost a third of the world. That total also includes 19 African countries. It’s a young organisation.60% of the Commonwealth population is under the age of 30. The modern Commonwealth was formed in 1949 although at that time it had eight members and only one South Africa was on the continent.
Initially, all members of the Commonwealth were former British colonies. Mozambique was the first country without a British colonial past to join in 1995 followed by Rwanda in 2009. The Commonwealth says to join you need to share the values of the Commonwealth Charter adopted in 2012. These include democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
What happens when a country is accused of breaking these commitments?
South Africa removed itself in 1964 after pressure from member states about its racist apartheid policies and only rejoined in 1994. Other countries have left and then come back including Nigeria and The Gambia. Zimbabwe withdrew in 2003 for breaking the Commonwealth Charter under former president Robert Mugabe and has yet to be readmitted.
Supporters say it helps countries to develop and work together on international goals. Some say though that it’s a legacy of Britain’s colonial past and doesn’t have any power. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, that’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said in July that the Commonwealth must acknowledge its past even if it’s uncomfortable.
The head of the Commonwealth is Harry’s grandma, Queen Elizabeth II. The organization is led day by day by the Secretary-General. She is currently Patricia Scotland the first female head.
The Commonwealth meets every two years to discuss its plans. They were meant to meet in Rwanda in 2020 this has been delayed due to the pandemic. You might also have heard of the Commonwealth Games. This is a massive sporting event that takes place every four years featuring athletes from all the Commonwealth countries.
Facts about the Common Wealth Games?
Facts No. 1
The very first Commonwealth Games was held in Hamilton Ontario in 1930 and was Ashley called the British Empire Games. The competitors consisted of 400 athletes from 11 countries. Things have changed a lot now as the Commonwealth Games now is expected to have more than 6,000 athletes from over 70 countries.
Facts No. 2
The Commonwealth Games is an international competition. However, it only involves countries that have been controlled under the British Empire. That’s why the Queen or a representative of the Queen always opens the Commonwealth Games at the opening ceremony.
Facts No. 3
There are going to be 23 or more sports in this upcoming Commonwealth Games and changes in every competition, which are athletics, swimming, badminton, boxing, field hockey lawn, bowling, netball, rugby sevens, squash, and weight.
Commonwealth games 2022
With the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, people look forward to the next international sporting competition, the Commonwealth Games 2022, being held in Birmingham. The city and wider region are investing 778 million pounds into an urban transformation worthy of the event. So how will Birmingham change to deliver the games?
Birmingham and the midlands already have strong existing sporting facilities to host the games such as edge bass and cricket ground, commentary arena, and the NEC.
Alexandra Stadium Renovation
Alexandra Stadium in Perry bar is being renovated for 72 million pounds to host the opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics events. It is set to increase its capacity from 12700 spectators to 18000 and create the essential temporary infrastructure needed to host the games such as a Spectators Plaza, Media Center, and Transport Interchange.
Sandwell Aquatic Center
The only new venue being constructed for the games is the Sandwell Aquatic Center in Smethwick. It will feature an Olympic-sized pool, a 10-meter diving board, and a community pool alongside 1000 permanent seats and additional temporary seating for the games. The center is costing a total of 34.6 million pounds. But what about its life after the games? Post games the swimming center will be refurbished, removing the temporary spectator stands and replacing for sports halls gyms studios and much more.
The successful bid for the commonwealth games has also led to investment in the wider urban fabric of Birmingham besides just the venues.
The athletes’ village will house 6500 participants on a former Birmingham city university campus. After the games, it will be converted to 1400 homes with a range of tenures. With the new housing, also comes improvements to public transport and active travel routes, new schools, community facilities, and investment in public space.
There is also a wider 20-year plan for further housing in the Perry bar area bringing economic vitality to the region
The site of the former Smithfield market will be revitalized into a temporary games venue with a capacity for up to four thousand spectators. The Birmingham Smithfield master plan sets out a proposal for the site after the games creating a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with affordable housing, tourists and leisure attractions, and green spaces and boulevards. Smithfield is part of a wider Birmingham city plan that transforms swaps of the inner city
The bottom line
As Birmingham prepares to host the Commonwealth games 2022 we will see significant developments improving the landscape of the city with the real benefits of being the host to be seen in the long term with projects such as Smithfield and the Athletes village.