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Focus on the Commonwealth Games

Find out all about the Commonwealth Games - the history, participating countries, events, medals and the latest Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games, held once every four years, brings together members of the Commonwealth nations and territories to compete on a level playing field in a spirit of friendship and fair play, often referred to as the ‘friendly games’1. The Games unite the Commonwealth family through sport.

History of the Commonwealth Games

The very first Games were held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930 – then known as the British Empire Games. With just 11 events and only 400 athletes competing then, the Games have evolved over the years to an event including 70 nations and territories and over 6,600 athletes and team officials.

Changes have also been seen in the type of events. Before 1998, there had only been single-person competition events – no team events, until hockey, netball and men’s rugby sevens were introduced at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games. Basketball was later introduced at the 2006 Melbourne Games and beach volleyball, para triathlon and women’s rugby sevens were included for the first time at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games1.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)

The decisions, changes, direction and way the Games have evolved over the years since they first began have been the responsibility of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). A large focus has been on developing these Games as an inclusive Games. We heard from Richard from CGF in the video above and you will learn more about the federation in the next step.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games were held in Queensland, Australia from 4-15 April 2018. It was the fifth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games but the first time a regional city in Australia had been the host.

Organising Corporation – GOLDOC

Each time a Commonwealth Games is run, an organising corporation is established to plan, organise and deliver the event. For the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the corporation was the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, also known as GOLDOC. You will hear more about their work in the next step.

Features of the Games

Watch this video to find out more about:

  • the history of the games
  • the equal number of medal events for men and women (for the first time in 2018)
  • the para athlete events
  • the diverse range of nationalities represented at the Games
  • features of the 2018 host city – the City of Gold Coast

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Participating Countries

There were 70 Commonwealth nations and territories who participated in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. ​​​​​​​Each of these has a Commonwealth Games Association (CGA), the body that sends athletes to participate2.

Discover which countries/territories participated in the Games by exploring the map below.

View this interactive map

Your task

Interested to find out more? Use these links to explore the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games further:

Share any comments you have below.


1. History of the Games. Gold Coast 2018. Available from:

2. The CGA Movement. Commonwealth Games Australia; 2018. Available from:

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