Started in 1930 as the British Empire Games, the present-day Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport competition, designed like the Olympics, where only the Commonwealth of Nations and their territories are eligible to participate.
The Commonwealth of Nations or simply the Commonwealth, as it stands now, is a voluntary group of 54 sovereign nations, most of which were former colonies of the erstwhile British Empire or its dependants
The members, though, have changed over the years due to global political implications and voluntary withdrawals for additions to the group.
For example, undivided India, under British rule, participated at the 1934 and 1938 Games as one team. After India’s partition in 1947, India and Pakistan both participated at the 1954 CWG. Similarly, Bangladesh started competing at the Commonwealth Games from 1978 after its independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Hamilton 1930, the inaugural Commonwealth Games edition, saw 11 countries and territories – hosts Canada, Australia, Bermuda, British Guiana, Canada, England, Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales – take part.
The number of participating countries and territories have steadily gone up since. Six nations, Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales, have been part of all the 21 Commonwealth Games editions so far.
A total of 71 different teams participated in the last Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia in 2018. Besides the nations themselves, a number of dependent territories of these countries compete under their own flag, bringing up the total number of teams.
Anguilla, for instance, is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom but competes at the Commonwealth Games as a separate team.
A total of 72 countries and territories are expected to feature at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The sole addition will be the Maldives, who left the Commonwealth in 2016 and hence, missed Gold Coast 2018. The Asian country, however, rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations in 2020 and is expected to compete at Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK starts on July 28 and ends on August 8.
Commonwealth Games 2022: List of competing countries and territories
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
- Northern Ireland
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- St Helena
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- The Gambia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands