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National news

The Commonwealth Games

26th Jul 2022

Starting in 1930, the Commonwealth Games has evolved considerably. Held every four years, with the exception during the war, the Games has grown from the original 11 countries and 400 athletes to over 4,000 competitors from 72 nations.

Throughout the last 90 years, the Commonwealth Games has held firm to its goal of uniting the countries of the Commonwealth through fair play and friendship. On its journey the Games have seen it’s fair share of momentous occasions, including such ground-breaking events like the 4-minute mile and the first ever para gold medal.   

This year will be the first time the west-midlands has ever hosted the Games and from what we’ve seen of the preparations in Birmingham, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic event.

Excitement round every corner

This year, the Commonwealth Games is home to over 20 different events. If you break that down to individual sports and disciplines, it’s closer to 100 different events. From aquatics and athletics to wrestling and weightlifting, whatever your passion there’s a sporting spectacle to thrill and entice you.

Hosted across fantastic venues throughout the city, Birmingham really has turned their attention to detail up to eleven.

We’ve taken three sports to dive a little deeper into to find out a bit more on each.

Gymnastics and the Birmingham Arena

Split into two categories, Artistic and Rhythmic, it can be divided even further into individual elements. Beam, Rings, Bars, Horse, floor and Vault. And it’s this variety of disciplines which makes Gymnastics such a visually spectacular sport to watch. There’s always something brilliant going on and the level of speed, strength, skill and grace on display is both mesmerising and awe inspiring. Add into the mix it’s an indoor sport and you get a great seat throughout the whole arena, you’re guaranteed a great view, whatever the weather.

Athletics and Para-athletics

Again, we’ve picked athletics and para-athletics due to the sheer quality of athleticism on display, but also because it includes over 59 events, showcasing the very best of human endurance. As well as the Blue-Ribbon events like the 100m and Marathon races, this year’s athletics includes 20K race walk and 10K run around the city.

For those who like to keep ‘track’ (sorry), Australia heads the athletics’ medal table with 196 golds, closely followed by England with 194 and Canada the next closest contender with 83. Both Wales and Scotland claim 16 and 18 golds respectively, but if things go well for one competitor, we’re hoping to add to that tally in the weightlifting.


Split into two distinct disciplines, weightlifting is a great sport to watch. Whether the ‘Snatch’ event (raising the weight in one swift movement above the head), or the ‘Clean and Jerk’ (a two-phase lift from floor to chest, then over the head), it provides a highly explosive competition, with quick results for your viewing pleasure.

The excellent venue, the NEC Arena, plays host to this year’s competition, but if you needed another reason to cheer on your favourite competitor, we have a CSSC member preparing to take on the elite.

Jodey Hughes from HMRC will be appearing in the 55kg category, having qualified for these Games in nerve-wracking style.

Before the Games, we caught up with Jodey to hear how the training was going and to grab some real insight into the mind of an elite athlete as they prepare for such an adventure. You can read an extract from that interview on our funding pages with the full interview in next year’s Podium. Read more about Jodey here.

Tickets still available

If you’re looking to get your sport on, there really is no better occasion than the home Commonwealth Games. At just 2-4 hours away from most of the Country, Birmingham is a fantastic city, guaranteed to give you a great welcome and fantastic weekend away.

Grab your tickets through the main website portal and cheer on the best of British, from whichever home nation you support.

But, if you can’t make it, remember there’s hundreds of ways to get involved, try a new sport or just keep moving with CSSC’s offers, partners, savings and communities.

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