What are the Commonwealth Games and who takes part?

Commonwealth Games 2014

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

  • 1.5 billion people worldwide are expected to watch coverage of the Games.
  • 390,000 meals will be served up by 170 chefs in the Athletes' Village.
  • 15,000 volunteers will work at the Commonwealth Games. There were 50,811 applicants.
  • 803 gold medals have been won by Australia, more than any other country.
  • There will be 22 para-sport events across five sports - the largest programme for athletes with a disability in the history of the competition.

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.

Usian Bolt 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

Africa

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

Americas

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

Asia

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

Caribbean

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

Europe

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

Oceania

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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