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A history of the Commonwealth Games

  • 5 min read

Written by Domestic & General

This year, Domestic & General are stepping into the arena for a brand new experience – sponsoring the Commonwealth Games 2022. Having led the relay in protecting households from broken appliances and replacement costs for many years now, we’re not unfamiliar with the practice but it’s something else that unites the 2022 Games and Domestic & General.

We are united by the same mission – making the world a better, greener place. As the Games aims to create a carbon-neutral legacy, Domestic & General have started implementing initiatives to encourage households to prioritise sustainability, including our partnership with The Reuse Network.

As we prepare to take our sustainability goals to new heights, sharing a vision with the global Commonwealth community of around 1.5 billion, let’s have a refresher on just what the Commonwealth is and why the Commonwealth Games are so important.

What are the Commonwealth Games?

range of equipment of sports including football and tennis

The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.

The event was first held in 1930, and, apart from 1942 and 1946, has taken place every four years since.

For the Commonwealth Games 2022 – being held in Birmingham – there will be an additional focus brought to the attention of the masses. Sustainability is the name of the Games this year, as Birmingham 2022 aims to be the first carbon-neutral Games.

To do this, the Games have announced a series of initiatives and offsetting schemes to deliver on their pledge.

Two of the standout initiatives that Birmingham 2022 will do includes the creation of 2,022 acres of forest, as well as 72 tennis-court-sized mini forests, to be built in urban areas across the West Midlands. Each mini forest will be linked to one of the nations and territories competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

What is the Commonwealth?

people surrounding an image of the globe

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Nations and often referred to as the Friendly Games, almost all the members are former territories of the British Empire.

The Commonwealth was originally created as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

The present-day Commonwealth of Nations has been constituted since 1949, when the London Declaration modernised the community and established the member states as ‘free and equal.’

What countries are in the Commonwealth?

collection of flags of the commonwealth countries

  • Antigua And Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Eswatini
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts And Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent And the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad And Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia

Today, being a member of the Commonwealth is voluntary. This means that territories can choose to remain as part of the Commonwealth body without swearing loyalty to the Crown.

For example, Barbados became a republic – removing Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state – in 2021, but they still have chosen to remain a member of the Commonwealth.

What are some typical Commonwealth Games sports?  

two people competing in swimming competition

In total there are 16 core sports and 4 core para-sports that are played at every games.

The core sports include the likes of swimming, athletics, lawn bowls, triathlon, and freestyle wrestling.

In addition to these core sports, each Games see several optional sports – these might not be present at every tournament.

Optional sports include the likes of diving, archery, basketball, track cycling and beach volleyball.

When are the Commonwealth Games 2022?

pin pointing at Birmingham on a map of the UK

Birmingham 2022 will start on Thursday, 28 July, with the competition coming to an end on Monday, 8 August.

We’ll be sharing more tips on sustainability and keeping your household eco-friendlier throughout the Games.