In September this year, we’ll find out if our (Durban’s) bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games was successful. The draw will be held in Auckland, New Zealand and to be honest, I really think we stand a good chance. The city is perfect. The climate is incredible, the facilities are world class and there’s a lot for tourists to do outside of the games, if that is what they’re also after. Let’s see how it goes, but I think we’ve got it.
I received a few interesting facts from the PR team assisting with the bidding process, which I thought were quite interesting and cool to share with you all. Have a look:
- The first Commonwealth Games took over thirty years of discussion and planning That sounds like most meetings these days. There’s a lot of back and forth and meeting to meet about what was discussed last time. Nothing’s changed? Haha. The first games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. The 11 participating countries sent 400 athletes to take part in the grand total of 6 sports, 59 events.
- The Games were officially referred to as the Commonwealth Games in 1978. They were also known as the ‘Friendly Games’. They take place every four years, but weren’t around in 1942 or 1946, due to a little something called World War II. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, but were changed in 1978.
- Team sports were only introduced to The Games during the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998. So this meant nations could partake in sports such as cricket, hockey, netball and rugby 7’s.
- In 2000, the Commonwealth Games Federation added the Commonwealth Youth Games to its offering. This means athletes as young as 14 could enter, giving them the much needed first-hand experience as to how the Games rolled out.
- Did you know? Scottish lawn bowler, Willie Wood, who was the first competitor to have competed in seven Commonwealth Games, from 1974 to 2002.
- Of the 20 games hosted, South Africa has only taken part in 12. As you know, under Apartheid our country was righftully subjected to many international boycotts. This was in an effort to force the Nationalist government under pressure, to change its policies. It eventually worked and now we’re in a very good position as far as a successful bid is concerned. If you’re keen to have your say and show your support, tweet your messages to @Durban2022 with the hashtag #readytoinspire.