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  • Writer's pictureLisa Perry

SA take First Gold!

Who: Commonwealth of Nations.

Why: A sporting competition bringing together the members of the British Empire.

When: Wednesday 4th April 2018 – Sunday 15th April 2018.

Where: Gold Coast, Australia (Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville).

How: Through 23 different sporting disciplines.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) will welcome more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories to the Gold Coast and event cities Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville, to share in the celebration of sport, entertainment and culture.

The event was first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, and has taken place every four years since then (with the exception of 1942 and 1946, which were cancelled due to World War II). Apart from many Olympic sports, the Commonwealth Games also include some sports that are played predominantly in Commonwealth countries, such as lawn bowls and netball.

South Africa has had a turbulent history with the Commonwealth Games. Under the Apartheid regime, South Africa was banned to participate in the majority of the games. Team SA participated in the games held from 1930 to 1958 and then again from 1994 to present. From the 12 games (out of 22) that South Africa has competed in, we have accumulated 352 medals to place 6th for the total amount of medals per country.

South Africa has 195 athletes heading over to Australia to compete in 20 different sporting disciplines.

Four interesting facts:

1. South Africa is still yet to host The Commonwealth Games.

2. Johannesburg was elected as the first host city of the Commonwealth Games in 1930. However, it was moved away from South Africa due to the pre-apartheid government refusing to allow non-white participants to compete.

3. Durban was elected as the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. But in February 2017, it was reported that Durban was experiencing financial constraints and the host city of Durban was replaced with Birmingham, UK.

4. Certain African, Asian and Caribbean states had boycotted the Commonwealth Games by not entering their athletes. This was in support of black athletes who were not allowed to represent South Africa in the few games that they competed in. The aim was to make the Commonwealth Games appear to be a whites-only event.

Commonwealth of Nations

(present day)

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