What are the Commonwealth Games and who takes part?

  • 1 August 2014
Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games take place every four years, with the 2014 event being held in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Games were first held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930, when 11 countries sent a total of 400 athletes to take part.

In Glasgow 2014 there will be more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations competing in 17 sports over 11 days.

Scotland has previously hosted the event twice, in 1970 and 1986, both in Edinburgh. This will be the first time Glasgow is the host city.

Comments: Will you be watching the Commonwealth Games?

Sporting superstars such as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Tom Daley are all competing in what is being billed as the biggest and best Commonwealth Games yet.

Image caption Usian Bolt is one of the stars set to compete in Glasgow 2014

What is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a collection of countries that are linked in some way to Great Britain, all apart from one - Mozambique.

Many years ago Britain used to control lots of countries as part of something called the British Empire.

Over the years the Empire has disappeared as countries have taken charge of themselves, and has reformed and changed to become the Commonwealth.

All 53 members have signed up to a set of values including democracy, gender equality and international peace and security.

During the opening ceremony the Games will be officially opened by the Queen, who is the head of the Commonwealth.

The 71 teams competing at Glasgow 2014


Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia


Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Falkland Islands, Guyana, St. Helena


Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka


Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands


Cyprus, England, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales


Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

List taken from Glasgow 2014 official website

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