The idea for an Empire Games was first mooted by the Rev Astley Cooper in 1891 when he wrote to the Times proposing a ‘Pan Britannic-Pan Anglican Contest and Festival’ to take place every four years with the aim of ‘increasing the good will and good understanding of the British Empire’.
It took another 39 years for his dream to become reality, but since the first Empire Games took place in Hamilton, Canada in 1930, they have evolved into one of the premier events in the World’s Sporting calendar.
Hosting an event on such a large scale was a major organisational and logistical challenge for the City of Manchester. Not only did it have to accommodate and cater for thousands of athletes, it also had to cope with a major influx of visitors as people from all over the Commonwealth descended on the city to support their national teams.
The Key Statistics have been included to give you a clearer idea of just how much effort was required in terms of human resources, materials, services and pure good will to make the Games the success it was. From the number of tickets sold to the weight of bananas consumed in the Athletes’ Village, the essential facts and figures are all here.
The Commonwealth itself is a hugely diverse family of nations, each with its own unique history and culture. Its members range from some of the worlds most populous countries, like India with almost a billion inhabitants, to small island nations such as Tuvalu, which has just 11,000.
Under ‘A Wealth of Information’ you will find out some of the more notable facts about the Commonwealth and its member states, along with details and statistics from several of the previous Games in which they took part.
After the success of the Games a clarion cry went out yet again for the bright flames of the Olympic torch to be carried to Manchester’s door.
Perhaps at this point we need to introduce a sense of perspective
The Commonwealth Games may be the second largest multi-sport event in the World but it is still some way behind the Olympics in scale.
The event is at least nine times larger in terms of capacity required and the number of athletes competing would effectively double.
So there may be a little more distance to cover if Manchester attempts a future bid for the ultimate event. For now it’s enough to let the numbers take their lap of honour. Statistics that were used to sustain the doubters are now lined up on the podium proudly awaiting their honours.
There were many who scoffed when the city was awarded the Commonwealth Games. They said Manchester couldn’t handle such a major event. The city proved the cynics wrong. It may yet do so again.
1. 72 nations
2. 17 sports (3 team, 14 individual)
3. 5,717 athletes and team officials
4. 3,679 competing athletes – 62% male and 38% female
5. 160 elite athletes with a disability
6. 790 athletes took part in Athletics events
7. 865 medals presented during the Games
8. 978 samples taken as part of the anti-doping programme
9. 11 Official Sponsors and 9 Official Partners
10. 179 ticketed event sessions
11. 900,000 tickets sold, Athletics events accounted for over 330,000 sales
12. After 6 weeks over 300,000 tickets had been sold and
thirteen of the seventeen finals were sold out
13. 60% of tickets sold over the internet
14. The Closing Ceremony was the most popular event
with a 100% ticket sell out
15. 10,000 kit mascots and 60,000 pin badges sold
16. Peak transport fleet of 1,509 vehicles
17. Over 1,500 volunteer drivers
18. 10,035 arrivals and departures managed, with no clients
missing their flights on departure
19. Over 80,000 bus movements between 56 bus stops
20. Peak bus, coach and mini-bus fleet of 232 vehicles
21. 22,800 total vehicle access parking permits issued
22. The Athletes’ Village covered a 30 acre site and 6 university halls of residence
23. Beds were available for 5,176 athletes and team officials
24. Over 1,200 volunteers worked within the Commonwealth Games Village
25. 26,484 village volunteer shifts
26. 150,000 condoms provided
27. 120,500 beds made
28. 166 tonnes of laundry
29. 530 kilometres of toilet rolls
30. Over 700 tonnes of Games time waste, with 16.5% recycled
31. 740 clear waste bins
32. The Athletes’ Village included the UK’s largest temporary restaurant serving 300,000 meals over 22 days
33. Over 79,000 litres of orange and 52,000 litres of apple juice were served
34. 5,500 kilograms of bananas were consumed
35. 6,600 kilograms of pasta were consumed
36. 52,423 calls handled by the call centre between
1 July and 4 August
37. 24,000 volunteer applications (53% women 47% men) between the ages of 16 and 87
38. 60% of volunteer applications received via the internet
39. On the first day of the volunteer programme launch:
1,675 people applied on-line, 400 visited the centre and 100 applied by telephone
40. 690 organising committee employees and over 40% recruited within the last year (2002)
41. 1,260,000 total volunteer hours
42. 10,345 Games time volunteers
43. Over 12,000 uniforms issued over 42 days
44. 38 sport and non-sport venues
45. The largest venue was the City of Manchester Stadium with 38,000 seats
46. Temporary seating was erected in 8 venues providing an additional 33,718 seats
47. Over 1,200 venue tours provided
48. 70,000 turned out to watch the Triathlon at Salford Quays
49. Over 200 million website hits, peaking at 8.6 million on 30 July
50. 750 nation flags were procured
51. 200 hours of live TV coverage were provided by the Host Broadcaster
52. The BBC had over 2,000 staff supporting the global transmission of the Games
53. 38 cameras used by the BBC to cover the Opening Ceremony
54. 400 square metres of press media agency space rented
55. Commercial revenue of £56 million
56. Total operational expenditure of £130million
57. Capital cost of venues of £170 million
58. 600 legal contracts signed
59. 55 licensees sold products from key rings to fine bone china
60. 4,305 total phone lines (including mobiles)
61. 25,000 radio calls a day on 3,071 radios
62. 750 loudspeakers
63. Over 12 million sheets of A4 paper
64. 384 Xerox printers and 336 fax machines
65. 200 servers linked 28 venues on the network with 1,387 networked PCs
66. 240 square metres of giant video screen
67. 52 plasma screens
Cast of Thousands
68. 10,000 Opening Ceremony cast members
69. 200 members of Royalty and Heads of Government, including Her Majesty The Queen and The Prime Minister, Tony Blair
70. Children from 29 North West schools were involved in the team welcome ceremonies at the Athletes’ Village
71. 2,000 Spirit of Friendship Festival events
72. 145 international Cultureshock programme events
73.The Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay travelled almost 64,000 miles across the Commonwealth carried by 5,000 runners.
74. Over 14,000 chairs and 4,000 tables procured
A wealth information
More than half of the population of the Commonwealth is under 25 years old.
The Commonwealth stretches from the Pacific to the Caribbean, and from Africa to Asia.
The most populous country in the Commonwealth is India, with almost one billion people. Britain has 60 million.
The smallest countries in the Commonwealth, with 11,000 people each, are Nauru and Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean.
The Commonwealth also contains the world’s driest country, Namibia.
Malta will host the 2003 Games for the Small States of Europe in June 2003 and will be hosting a meeting of the European CGA’s during October 2002.
A powerhouse in athletics, Jamaican athletes have enjoyed medal success at every Games that they have competed in.
The former French Territory of Cameroon, joined the Commonwealth during 1995 and have competed in two Commonwealth Games. Cameroon has an outstanding record in international sport and are recognised as one of the premier football nations in the world after impressive results at World Cup and Olympic Games competitions.
Kiribati sent just 2 athletes to the Kuala Lumpur Games. Four years later in Manchester, they sent a delegation of 18 representing in 4 sports, track and field, weightlifting, triathlon and table tennis. For Melbourne 2006 they are hoping to do better again.
Forty-two nations sent a total of nearly 1,750 athletes and officials to the first Edinburgh Games in 1970. It was the first time that metric distances and electronic photo-finish technology were employed at the Games and also the first time that HM Queen Elizabeth II attended in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth. Scots will further remember the Games for the two Scottish brothers who won gold, one on the first day and one on the last.
Following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the X Games at Christchurch 1974 was the first multi-sport event to place the safety of participants and spectators as its uppermost requirement. Security guards surrounded the athlete’s village and there was an exceptionally high-profile police presence. Even so, Christchurch enchanted the watching world as a city of beautiful churches and gardens.
India joined the Commonwealth during 1947 on attaining independence, however they have been to twelve Games since attending their first Games in 1934. They are yet to host a Commonwealth Games and it is hoped that they will take the opportunity to do this before too long.
World War II interrupted the staging of the British Empire Games scheduled for 1942 and 1946, however the enthusiasm from within the British Empire to continue what was started in 1930 was still strong enough for interest to be shown in their revival.
Awarded to New Zealand, the IV Games were held at the nation’s largest city, Auckland. New Zealand had never been the focus of so much sporting attention and the hosts responded in a most magnificent and hospitable manner.
The opening ceremony at Eden Park was attended by 40,000 spectators, whilst nearly 250,000 people attended the Auckland Games, paying out a total of £89,435 as event spectators.
The atmosphere of the Opening Ceremony is best described by this paragraph from the Official Record of the Games:
“The entrance of the gladiators in the days of ancient Athens and ancient Rome could not have been more impressive than was that Parade at Eden Park on the afternoon of February 4, 1950. As one, the crowd stitted by the majesty of the colourful scene, wonderful too in its simplicity, rose to its feet to remain standing throughout the ceremony, cheering to the echo as the parade passed on its way around the stadium…”