Commonwealth Games Durban
The Commonwealth Games began way back in 1930 as a way to bring together countries with ties to the British Empire with sport. The games are played over 2 weeks in a host city chosen by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The games which are held every 4 years have only been cancelled twice, due to World War 2.
The Commonwealth Games South Africa
South Africa has a rich, if somewhat complicated history with the Commonwealth Games. South Africa is one of the top performing countries even though they were barred from the games for 30 years due the injustices of apartheid. Upon their re-entry in the 90’s, the country’s athletes have garnered an impressive tally of medals from the games, even ranking in the top 6 in terms of gold medal wins. As the host city, the Commonwealth Games 2022 will also for the first time see the event being hosted in Africa. The logo for the Commonwealth Games 2022 has already been revealed and has been largely inspired by the African continent and the South African flag. The official motto for the games is, Ready to Inspire.
- To inspire the world to visit Durban after seeing it for the world class holiday destination that it is
- To inspire the athletes to reach new heights in their respective sporting codes
- To inspire the South African youth to take up a bigger interest in sports
Commonwealth Games 2022 Sports
Unlike the Olympics which include a set sporting schedule, the Commonwealth Games schedule differs between editions. There are set sports and then ones that are chosen by the host country. The programme must be put out in advance so that athletes will know if their sporting disciple makes the list and can start their preparations. The schedule for the Commonwealth Games South Africa is already out and includes all dates that games will be played from preliminaries to finals, as well as the venues. The games will begin on the 18th of July and end 2 weeks later. The start date of the games which is when the Opening ceremony will be done has special meaning for South Africans as it is the birth date of Nelson Mandela, a humanitarian and national treasure.
Core Sports at the Commonwealth Games Durban
Core – the core sports are a set component of the Commonwealth Games schedule and must appear in all editions of the games, which are the following
- Athletics – Athletics offers the most amount of gold medals awarded for a sport at the Commonwealth Games and encompasses track and field events. All Athletics events will be done at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Badminton – Badminton is a game played with a racket and ball, but because of the light weightiness of the ball, which is easily swayed by even a breeze, it needs to be played indoors. At the Commonwealth Games Durban, Badminton will be played at the International Convention Centre.
- Boxing – the International Convention Centre will host all boxing matches, a sport where the aim is for a player to “knock out” their opponent with a series of tactical punches.
- Field hockey – the Commonwealth Games Durban will see Field Hockey being played at the Queensmead Hockey Stadium on an astro turf field. It is a team game where a hockey stick is used to steer a ball into the opposing team’s goal post.
- Squash – Squash is quite a high action racket ball game that will be played in either singles or doubles at the Commonwealth Games Durban. The University of KwaZulu Natal will be the game location.
- Netball – Netball is the only sport at the Commonwealth Games open only to women. It is a ball game similar to Basketball, with only one gold medal awarded to the winning team.
- Swimming – Swimming is the event with the second most gold medals to be won at the Commonwealth Games South Africa. It will take place at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre with events in butterfly and relay.
- Lawn bowls – a popular English game, Lawn Bowls is much enjoyed in many Commonwealth countries. It will be played at the Collegians Bowls Club.
- Weight lifting – Weight Lifting is open to men and women. Participants must participate in 2 codes in Weightlifting, the Snatch & the Clean and Jerk. They will get 3 tries each, with the best score from each category being added for the final score.
Optional Sports at the Commonwealth Games Durban
Optional – these sports are chosen from the Optional list of the Commonwealth Games sports by the host country with final approval being done by the Commonwealth Games Federation
- Basketball – only Wheelchair Basketball will be played at the Commonwealth Games South Africa. It is open to both men and women and will take place at the University of KwaZulu Natal
- Cycling – the categories for Cycling will include mountain biking, road and time trials. Cycling events will be done at the Cascades Park in Pietermaritzburg
- Judo – the International Convention Centre will host all events in Judo, which is a Japanese style combat sport.
- Rugby Sevens – this is a shorter version of the normal game and includes just 7 players. Rugby Sevens will be played at the Kings Park Rugby Stadium
- Shooting – the Bluff Military Base will host Shooting events with such categories as Small Bore, Pistol and Clay Target
- Table tennis – Table Tennis will be played at the Durban Exhibition Centre in singles or doubles team events
- Triathlon – Triathlon consists of a swim, road cycle and sprint with no break times between events.
- Wrestling – Wrestling is open to men and women with 7 weight group divisions for each
Recognized Sports at the Commonwealth Games Durban
Recognized – these are sports that are recognized by the Commonwealth Games Federation but are not as yet a part of the official games list. They may be included in the games schedule, provided the Federation approves it.
- Volleyball – Beach Volleyball is the only recognized sport that will be played at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and will take place at Durban New Beach