The XVII Commonwealth Games was the most significant multi-sport event to be held in the United Kingdom since the Olympics of 1948. It was the largest in the history of the Commonwealth Games in terms of participating nations with 72 countries taking part across 14 individual and three team sports from 25 July - 4 August 2002. The Games took on added significance in 2002 as the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty the Queen, celebrated her Golden Jubilee.
The successful hosting of these multi sport games demonstrated to the world that the UK was more than capable of hosting events of such magnitude and this played a significant part in securing the 2012 Olympic Games for the city of London.
The city of Manchester is the capital of the North West and is the commercial, educational and cultural focus for this vibrant region of England. As well as having a population of over 400,000, 60 per cent of the population of Britain, more than 33 million people, live within a two hour drive of Manchester.
The sports were contested by 3,679 athletes on a programme that included; Aquatics (diving, swimming & synchronised swimming), Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
For the first time in the Games history, indeed at any multi-sport event in the world, a limited number of full medal events for elite athletes with a disability (EAD) were included in a fully inclusive sports programme. The sports which included EAD events were Athletics, Lawn Bowls, Swimming, Table Tennis and Weightlifting.