Sat | Aug 19, 2017

History and development of major sporting events

Published:Tuesday | October 13, 2015 | 10:04 AMJennifer Ellison-Brown, Contributor
Jamaica’s Alphanso Cunningham in the discus event at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

Common wealth Games

The Commonwealth Games were first held in Hamilton, Canada. It was borne from an idea in 1891, that the Games would be a good way to bring the countries of the British Empire together in a friendly competition. Thus it is also known as the 'Friendly Games'.

The Games are held every four years in between the Summer Olympics and include some sports that are mainly played in Commonwealth countries such as netball and rugby.

CARIFTA Games

In 1972, Austin Sealy, then president of the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados, inaugurated the CARIFTA Games to mark the transition from the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CARIFTA was meant to enhance relations between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean after the dissolution of the West Indies Federation, but the CARIFTA Games took that idea a step further, including the French and Dutch Antilles in an annual junior field championship meet.

The meet is held yearly and normally runs over three days during the Easter period and includes over 150 separate events. The Games has two age categories for boys and girls: under-17 and under-20.

Pan American Games

The Pan American Games (also known colloquially as the Pan Am Games) is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas.

The first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires in 1951. This is held every four years, before the Summer Olympic Games and is open to all countries in the Americas whose Olympic Committee is recognised by the Pan Americas Sport Association (PASO). This currently includes 42 nations from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

PASO is responsible for choosing the host city for each Pan American Games and the program, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games, is determined by PASO.

Paralympics

The Paralympics is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.

There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.

This competition was borne from the idea of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, who first organised wheelchair games at stoke Mandeville Hospital in England for injured veterans of the Second World War. The games were intended to help rehabilitate the disabled soldiers.

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and provides opportunities for them to train and take part in Olympic-styled events. The Special Olympics was founded in the 1950's as a summer camp by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who felt that intellectually disabled people were treated unfairly.

Special Olympics World Games are held every two years. The most recent World Summer Games were the Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in Los Angeles, California from July 25, 2015 to August 2, 2015 and the most recent Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea from January 29 to February 5, 2013.

World Cup

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's of the members of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sports' global governing body.

The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champions are Germany, who won their fourth title at the tournament in Brazil.

The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase - which currently takes place over the preceding three years - to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, which is often called the World Cup Finals. A total of 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation(s) and defending champions, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month.