This October, the 19th Commonwealth games are being held in Delhi in India between 3 and 14 October
The Commonwealth Games, which are held every four years, will be opened by the raising of the Commonwealth Games Ceremonial Flag on 3 October.
About the Commonwealth Games
The first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in 6 sports and 59 events. Bobby Robinson, a major influence within athletics in Canada at the time, finally implemented the event that had been talked about amongst Commonwealth nations for over thirty years with the City of Hamilton providing $30,000 to help cover travelling costs of the participating nations.
Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II) and the event has seen many changes, not least in its name. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, from 1954 until 1966 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. It was the 1978 Games in Edmonton that saw this unique, world class, multi-sports event change its name to the Commonwealth Games.
Often referred to as the ‘Friendly Games’ only single competition sports had been on the programme from 1930 up to and including the 1994 Games in Victoria. The 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur saw the introduction of team sports with nations taking part in cricket (50 over game), hockey (men and women), netball (women) and rugby 7’s (men). In Manchester in 2002 hockey, netball and rugby 7’s graced the programme again and at the 2006 Games in Melbourne basketball accompanied hockey, netball and rugby 7’s on the programme. In Delhi in 2010 hockey, netball and rugby 7’s will again feature.
The 2002 Games in Manchester also saw for the first time, indeed at any multi-sport event in the world, a limited number of full medal events for elite athletes with a disability (EAD) in a fully inclusive sports programme. This continued in Melbourne where EAD athletes took part in athletics, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting.
In the year 2000 the CGF took on the added responsibility of the Commonwealth Youth Games, open to athletes 18 years of age and under the Youth Games provide an excellent opportunity for aspiring young athletes from the Commonwealth with a taste of what the Commonwealth Games has in store for them in the future. The inaugural Games were in Edinburgh with the last edition being hosted in 2004 in Bendigo, Australia with Pune in India in 2008 hosting the 3rd edition. In such a short space of time the Youth Games has grown in stature and this is evidenced by award of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man.
The story of the Games evolved yet again on the 9th November 2007 when Glasgow (Scotland) was awarded the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
To find out more about the Commonwealth Games click here
The Delhi Games
The vibrant city of New Delhi, home to 14 million people, will host the Commonwealth Games in October 2010. This will be the first time India has hosted the Games and only the second time the event has been held in Asia (Kuala Lumpur in 1998 was the first).
Delhi is the capital city of India and is rich in culture and history. It stands on the western end of the Gangetic Plain and is bordered by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. There are two main districts of the city, Old Delhi the capital of Muslim India between the mid 17th and late 19th centuries with its historic sites, mosques and monuments and New Delhi, the imperial city created by the British Raj with its imposing government buildings and tree lined avenues.
The dates for the Games are 3 – 14 October 2010, inclusive of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Weather wise the city experiences an October mean temperature of a minimum 17.2 degrees centigrade and maximum 31.3 degrees centigrade with humidity ranging from 31 to 78% for the October and November months.
The Delhi Games Village is to be constructed as a low rise medium development on a 40 acre site in the heart of the capital with a possible capacity for 8,500 athletes and officials. Existing and new stadia will be used to house the following sports:
Archery, Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby 7s, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
In addition, 15 events will be contested across 4 Para-Sports, for elite athletes with a disability, on the inclusive Sports Programme:
Athletics, Swimming, Powerlifting and Table Tennis.
Delhi won the right to host the 2010 Games by defeating the Canadian city of Hamilton by 46 votes to 22 at the CGF General Assembly held in Montego Bay in November 2003.
The Indian city of Pune hosted the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games from 12 – 18 October 2008 and saw the following nine sports on the programme; Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
To find out more about the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi click here
The Games ‘look’
The logo of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi is inspired by the Chakra, the national symbol of freedom, unity and power. Spiralling upwards, it depicts the growth of India into a proud, vibrant nation. Her billion people coming together to fulfil their true destinies. India`s journey from tradition to modernity, her economic transformation into a super power… reaching out to the world and leading the way, even as she enthusiastically embraces all the 71 CGA nations and territories of the Commonwealth to become one and host the best ever Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Come Out and Play
The logo tagline is in an invitation to every person across all divides – Indian and Commonwealth – to let go of themselves and participate in the Games to the best of their abilities, in the true sprit of the Games. It is an exhortation to them to set new records, to outperform, and to raise the bar by scaling new peaks of achievement. It is also a call to the people of India, especially Delhi, to come out in support of the Games and play the perfect hosts at the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi.
The colour palette for the Delhi 2010 look programme combines two of the distinctive colours of the Delhi 2010 Emblem with the official colours of the Commonwealth Games.
- Green: The colour that signifies life, energy and high spirits also represents the fact that Delhi 2010 will be the firstever Green Games. With a spring in your step, face every challenge and overcome hurdles with radiance and gusto.
- Purple: Combining the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical qualities of pink, this colour satisfies the need for reassurance, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement.
- Red, Yellow & Blue: Commonwealth Games colours, representing the ‘Trinity of Values’ that symbolise the games; unifying Humanity (Red) giving all athletes a chance to realise their Destiny (Yellow) and promoting Equality (Blue).
- Pink: This colour has also been introduced to the palette adding an element of surprise and luxury to the Games look programme. It plays to the crowd and truly reflects India in all its resplendent glory.
Shera – The Mascot
Shera, mascot of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi, is the most visible face of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi. His name comes from the Hindi word Sher – meaning tiger. Shera truly represents the modern Indian. He is an achiever with a positive attitude, a global citizen but justifiably proud of his nation’s ancient heritage, a fierce competitor but with integrity and honesty. Shera is also a ‘large-hearted gentleman’ who loves making friends and enthusing people to ‘come out and play’.
In Indian mythology, the tiger is associated with Goddess Durga, the embodiment of Shakti (or female power) and the vanquisher of evil. She rides her powerful vehicle – the tiger – into combat, especially in her epic and victorious battle against Mahishasur, a dreaded demon.
Shera embodies values that the nation is proud of: majesty, power, charisma, intelligence and grace. His athletic prowess, courage and speed on the field are legendary. He is also a reminder of the fragile environment he lives in and our responsibility towards the protection of his ecosystem.
We are England
The England team in Delhi will be one of the largest and most successful teams at one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The team is moving on – it has a fantastic inclusive brand ‘We are England’ uniting athletes with supporters and sponsors; plus a new website & a new board and CGE is currently in talks with various commercial partners about sponsorship of the team. In 2010 CGE started a ‘We are England’ campaign to get the nation behind the England team in advance of the Games. This has included allowing the public to choose the England victory anthem – ensuring that everyone who loves, plays or watches sport in this country could feel part of each athlete’s success when they top the podium!
The Commonwealth Games in 2010 will be a pivotal event where English stars will both return and emerge; it is vitally important preparation for 2012. It is a unique opportunity to expose the finest of England’s athletes, along with their supporters and fans and massive TV following to the unique and fantastic opportunities that India offers.