I British Empire Games
Host cityHamilton, Canada
Opening16 August 1930
Closing23 August 1930
Opened byLord Willingdon
Athlete's OathPercy Williams[1]
Main venueCivic Stadium
II →

The 1930 British Empire Games was the inaugural edition of what now is known as the Commonwealth Games, and was held in Hamilton, Ontario, from 16 to 23 August 1930.[2][3]

The event was organized by Hamilton Spectator sportswriter Bobby Robinson after he attended the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam as manager of the Canadian track and field team and was inspired to create a similar event for the British Empire. After campaigning for the idea among contacts he met at the Olympics, he was asked to organise the first British Empire Games in Hamilton.[4]

The sports included athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming, and wrestling. Women competed only in aquatic events. The opening ceremony and many events were held at Civic Stadium (later renamed Ivor Wynne Stadium) in east Hamilton.[5]

The event was opened by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Willingdon, on 16 August. Canadian triple jumper Gordon Smallacombe would claim a few hours later the debut gold medal.[1]

The 1930 British Empire Games made use of pedestals for dignitaries to present medals to winning athlethes, as proposed by Bobby Robinson. This inspired the Olympic medal podium ceremonies which began at the 1932 Winter Olympics.[6][7]


Participating teams

Participating countries

There were 11 teams participating in these inaugural British Empire Games:

Medal table

1 England25231361
2 Canada*20151954
3 South Africa64717
4 New Zealand3429
5 Australia3418
6 Scotland23510
7 Wales0213
8 British Guiana0112
9 Ireland0101
Totals (9 entries)595749165


Notable venues include:


  1. ^ a b Jamie Bradburn (21 July 2015). "The British Empire Games of 1930". Torontoist.com. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Hamilton 1930". Commonwealth Games Federation. Archived from the original on 2019-06-01. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  3. ^ ""Empire Games In Canada." Times, 4 Feb. 1930, p. 7". Times Digital Archives.
  4. ^ "'Just give us' the Commonwealth Games in 2030, Canada plans to tell counterpart countries". NationalPost. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Tigertown Triumphs" (Press release). The Hamilton Spectator-Memory Project (Souvenir Edition) page MP56. 10 June 2006.
  6. ^ Hemphill, Lex (January 22, 2002). "Olympic Torch Relay, Commercial to Begin With, Has Become More So, Historian Says". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City, Utah. p. C4.
  7. ^ Ogilvie, Claire (October 18, 2006). "Prof says Olympic podiums have Canadian connection". The Province. Vancouver, British Columbia. p. 25.
Preceded by
British Empire Games
I British Empire Games
Succeeded by