‘The Commonwealth Games,’ as they are known today, were first held in Hamilton in 1930 and called the British Empire Games. In 1958 at Cardiff, when the Isle of Man first joined, they were named ‘The British Empire and Commonwealth Games.’ The name was then changed to ‘British Commonwealth Games’ in 1970 and changed once again in 1978 to ‘Commonwealth Games’ as it stands today.
The Commonwealth Games have developed dramatically over the years starting with only 400 athletes, 11 countries and six sports at the first ever games in 1930, increasing to 7,000 athletes, 71 countries and 21 sports in the games held in 2014. There is also the Youth Games, which started in 2000 in Edinburgh, followed by the 2004 Bendigo Games, 2008 Pune Games, 2011 Isle of Man Games and 2015 Samoa Games.
In the Kingston 1966 Games an athlete (Peter Buckley) from the Isle of Man broke a record in the Men’s Road Race, 120 miles. The time he set was 5:07:52.5 hours and that record still stands today.
Isle of Man medals at the Commonwealth Games
The Isle of Man didn’t attend the Hamilton (1930), London (1934), Sydney (1938), Auckland (1950) or Vancouver (1954) games and was first invited to joint the Games in Cardiff for the 1958 Games.
The Isle of Man won medals at the following games:
2006 in Melbourne - GOLD: Mark Cavendish – Cycling (Men’s Scratch Race, 20km)
1986 in Edinburgh - GOLD: Nigel Kelly – Shooting (Men’s Skeet)
1966 in Kingston - GOLD: Peter Buckley – Cycling (Men’s Road Race, 120 miles)
2014 in Glasgow - SILVER: Peter Kennaugh _ Track cycling (points race).
1998 in Kuala Lumpur - SILVER: David Moore – Shooting (Men’s 50m Rifle Prone)
2010 in Delhi - BRONZE: Mark Christian - Cycling
2010 in Delhi - BRONZE: Tim Kneale - Shooting
2006 in Melbourne - BRONZE: Trevor Boyles and David Walton – Shooting (Men’s Clay Pigeon Trap, Team)
1978 in Edmonton - BRONZE: Stewart Watterson – Shooting (Men’s 50m Rifle Prone)
1970 in Edinburgh - BRONZE: Alex Jackson (now Solly) – Swimming (Women’s 200m Freestyle)
1958 in Cardiff - BRONZE: Stuart Slack – Cycling (Men’s Road Race, 120 miles)
A significant number of the 70 Manx competitors finished in the top 10 in their respective events.
The Isle of Man was also represented at the following games: 1962 in Perth, 1974 in Christchurch, 1982 in Brisbane, 1990 in Auckland, 1994 in Victoria and 2002 in Manchester.
Commonwealth Youth Games History
The first Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 2000, where 733 Athletes from 14 countries competed in eight sports over three days. All competitors in the Commonwealth Youth Games need to be 18 years or less (i.e. their 18th birthday is during the calendar year in which the Games is held).
The second Commonwealth Youth Games took place in Bendigo, Australia, in December 2004 and saw more than 1,000 athletes and officials from 22 countries take part in a 10-sport programme. This was the first Games that the Isle of Man was represented at.
The next Youth Games was held in the Indian city of Pune from 12-18 October 2008, where 71 nations and territories participated in nine sports.
A decision was taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation at their General Assembly in 2005 to move the Youth Games outside of the Olympic Games year and in doing so awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man. The 2015 Youth Games were held in Samoa.
The Isle of Man won medals at the following Commonwealth Youth Games:
2015 in Samoa - SILVER: Mathew Rennie - Boxing (64kg)
2011 in the Isle of Man - SILVER: Grant Halsall – Swimming (Men's 50m Backstroke)
2011 in the Isle of Man - SILVER: Grant Halsall – Swimming (Men's 200m Backstroke)
2011 in the Isle of Man - BRONZE: Grant Halsall - Swimming (Men's 100m Backstroke)