History & Tradition

The Commonwealth tradition has been carrying forward a magnificent legacy of co-operation, humanity and unity. The Commonwealth is a unique family of developed and developing nations, a voluntary association of independent sovereign states spread over every continent and ocean. From Africa to Asia, from the Pacific shores to the Caribbean, the Commonwealth's 1.7 billion people make up 30% of the world's population and are of many faiths, races, languages and cultures. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of the Games and HRH The Earl of Wessex CVO is the Vice patron.
The role of
Commonwealth Games Federation
The role of the Commonwealth Games Federation stretches beyond facilitation of the Commonwealth Games - indeed the continuing success of the Games has helped to influence the outreach of the Commonwealth and to strengthen it’s bonds.

As a means of improving society and the general well being of the people of member nations, the Federation also encourages and assists education via sport development and physical recreation throughout the Commonwealth.

Every decision made by the Commonwealth Games Federation inherently carries the intrinsic principles of - HUMANITY, EQUALITY and DESTINY, which are the core values of the organisation.

These values help to inspire and unite millions of people and they symbolise the broad mandate of the Federation within the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Youth Games
The Commonwealth Games Federation discussed the idea of a Millennium Commonwealth Youth Games in 1997. In 1998 the concept was agreed on for the purpose of providing a Commonwealth multi-sport event for young people. The Commonwealth Youth Games are a mini Commonwealth Games attracting the best young athletes in the Commonwealth.

The inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 10-14 August 2000. 14 countries contested 483 medals over 3 days of competition in 8 sports- Athletics, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Tennis, Squash, Swimming and Weightlifting. A total of 733 athletes and team officials, 280 Technical Officials and around 500 volunteers participated in the event.

The success of these Games in Scotland gained the support of the Commonwealth Games Federation who has pledged continued support for a Commonwealth Youth Games to be held every 4 years.

The second edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Bendigo, Australia in December 2004, 24 countries participated and contested in 10 sports events spread over a period of 3 days, which included Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby 7’s, Tenpin Bowling, Swimming, Cycling, Gymnastics and Weightlifting.1000 athletes and team officials were involved in the Games in Bendigo.

The III Commonwealth Youth Games will be held in Pune, India 2008.It is for the first time in history that Commonwealth Youth Games are being held in Asia, in India. The city of Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra and a fast growing Metropolis, will host the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games between 12 - 18 October in 2008 with the for 9 disciplines; Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

Over 1,300 athletes and 350 Officials from 71 countries will participate in the games. It is for the first time that this multi-sporting event is going to be held at a single venue – the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune.

The Queen's
Baton Relay
Similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. Her Majesty the Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to her Majesty the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.

The Relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Through the 1994 Games, the Relay only went through England and the host nation. The Relay for the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first to travel to other nations of the Commonwealth. The 2002 Relay covered over 100,000 kms and went through 23 nations.
Melbourne, 2006
Baton Relay pin badge
The Melbourne 2006 Queen's Baton Relay was the world's longest, most inclusive relay, travelling more than 180,000 kms and visiting all 71 nations that send teams to the Commonwealth Games in one year and a day. The Queen's Baton Relay started, as it traditionally does, at Buckingham Palace and ended in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It carried a message from Her Majesty the Queen and was read by her to the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

About the Baton
The baton contained 71 lights on the front, representing the 71 member nations of the Commonwealth Games Federation. A video camera built into the front of the baton recorded continuously as the baton traveled, and a GPS tracker was fitted; so that the baton's location could be viewed live on the Commonwealth Games Website.

The history of
The Games
In 1911, the 'Festival of Empire’ was held in London to celebrate the coronation of King George V. As part of the festival, an Inter-Empire Championships was held in which teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom competed in events such as boxing, wrestling, swimming and athletics.

The first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 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. Eleven countries with 400 athletes in total participated in the first Commonwealth Games. Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years except for 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.

From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games until 1962. From 1966 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games and from 1978 onwards they have been known as simply the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Youth Games are also known as Friendly Games in the English speaking provinces of the Commonwealth.

The Quaich
The Quaich is a symbol of the Commonwealth Youth Games and was the initiative of the organisers of the inaugural Games in Scotland. Donated by the City of Edinburgh, the silver Quaich is a commemorative symbol to be handed down from host nation to the next host nation.

The Commonwealth Games Quaich is a two-handled silver cup sitting 13cm high and 18cm wide. This small size is typical of Quaichs.

The inscription on
The Quaich reads
Inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games Edinburgh
This Quaich was donated by the city of Edinburgh to celebrate
The Commonwealth Youth Games
Scotland commands & entrusts the future of these games in perpetuity
History of
The Quaich
A Quaich is a small, shallow, two-handled drinking cup or vessel unique to Scotland. The Quaich has a rich heritage in Scotland, with the earliest written reference dating from 1546. The earliest Quaichs were made from a single piece of wood turned on a lathe. Handles, called "lugs", were sometimes covered with silver. Quaichs are still being made today, mostly as prizes for sporting events or as objects d'art.
The Games are now over. This site is for reference only. For the latest news and information on the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games please visit the CGF website.

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