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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

The Empire Games

The Empire Games.

Although the standard at the Empire Games is not as high as that which marks the Olympic Games, it is brought home with telling effect just what sport means to the British Empire when the Games are held down near New Zealand. At the time of writing, the English, South African and Rhodesian teams had arrived in Australia—note the distinction! Too many of us refer to a South African as any representative of the continent of Africa, but Rhodesians are proud of their own national status. A small team of Jamaican athletes is also due to call in at Wellington en route to the Games in Sydney, while the Canadian team will total just a little short of 100 athletes and officials.

Although the English and Scottish teams will not be up to full strength there is quantity if not the desired quality. It is only when the English authorities come to send a team to the Antipodes that they realise the difficulties which face New Zealand and Australian sports administrators when sending teams abroad. It is the strict interpretation—and application—of “no expenses allowed” that has kept many prominent English and Scottish athletes out of the team to Sydney.

Although this is the third of the Empire Games to be held since 1930 it promises to be the best ever. The first was held in London, at the Crystal Palace, in 1911, at the time of the Coronation of King George V. At that time the Games were known as the “Festival of Empire.” New Zealand's sprint representative on that occasion was Ron Opie, who distinguished himself in New Zealand by winning the 100, 220 and 440 yds. Australasian track championships in that year. Opie did not show his true form at the Games, but succeeded in winning one of England's most important sprints—the “Crewe 100”—just prior to the Games. W. A. Woodger, of the N.Z. Railways, was in England at the same time, but not as a competitor at the Games.