The first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada when they were known as the British Empire Games. The Games take place every four years in a different Commonwealth country. In 1978 this world class sporting event became the Commonwealth Games as it is known today.
From 1979 to 1982, I was volunteer 0001 at the XII Commonwealth Games Foundation, supporting office odd-jobs and later with planning, marketing, sports and creative planning groups. My mother was Protocol and later Accreditation and Hospitality Manager (she was awarded a gold medal for her services).
46 countries participating with 1,583 athletes with 571 officials involved in 142 events the Brisbane Commonwealth Games are still hailed as one of the very best. Everything went so well from the moment Matilda, a 13-metre mechanical kangaroo, helped out with the opening ceremonies.
Ten sports were featured at the 1982 Commonwealth Games – Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Lawn Bowls, Shooting, Swimming and Diving, Weightlifting and Wrestling. The men’s 200m gold was shared by England’s Mike McFarlane and Scotland’s Allan Wells, with judges unable to separate the pair at the winning post.