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Commonwealth Sport in Northern Ireland

Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland (CGNI) is the lead body for Commonwealth Sport in Northern Ireland. The council is representative of those sports recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation. We currently have 17 affiliated sports which elect a nine person Board. 
CGNI is primarily tasked with presenting a team at both the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games. These are the only opportunities available for athletes to compete in a multi-sport event representing Northern Ireland. 
Our History

Our History

Often referred to as the ‘Friendly Games’ , the first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in 6 sports and 59 events. 
Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years. From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, from 1954 until 1966 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. It was the 1978 Games in Edmonton that saw this unique, world class, multi-sports event change its name to the Commonwealth Games.
Northern Ireland has competed in sixteen of the eighteen Commonwealth Games beginning with the second games, held in 1934. The team did not compete in 1930 (when there was a single team from Ireland) and in 1950.
Team Northern Ireland has the distinction of achieving medal success at each and every one. Lawn bowls (Watson & Rosbotham) and athletics (Thelma Hopkins) provided the first gold medals for the team in 1954 and lawn bowls and shooting provided silver medals in Melbourne in 2006 and boxing providing 3 gold medals in Delhi 2010 in the -49kg, 69kg and 75kg weight categories. 
As one of the home countries in the UK, Northern Ireland is not able to be a member of the Olympic Movement so the Commonwealth Games provides the only opportunity for its athletes to compete representing Northern Ireland at the international level in a multi-sport event. 
The participation in the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games is organized by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) who are responsible for presenting a team of athletes at each game and promoting sport for the benefit of all. 
The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) is the lead body for Commonwealth Sport in Northern Ireland. The council is representative of those sports recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation. We currently have 21 affiliated sports which elect a nine person Board.
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The TeamNI Board

Robert McVeigh / Chairman

Robert joined the organization in 1992 and has performed as a sports administrator, games team manager and more recently the Chef de Mission. In the past 15 years he has served on the mission staff of all four Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games. Aside from his career as a school teacher Robert sits on the board for the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association and is a soccer and rugby coach. As an athlete, Robert competed as a rifle shooter on the International circuit.

John Allen / Secretary

John has been a member of NICGC since 1989 representing Athletics NI where he has been working for more than 30 years. He was an official at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990 and is a current Director of the NICGC Board. As an international athlete, John competed in Cross Country. He is also a board member of the Belfast Marathon. John took on the role of Secretary General in 2018.

Amanda McMaster / Treasurer

Amanda joined the CGNI board in 2014. She has been to 5 Commonwealth Games as a technical officer and was an assisstant team manager at both the 2017 Youth Games and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She has been involved in Gymnastics for over 36 years, competing herself at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. Following retirement from competition she became a qualified Level 5 High Performance Coach, qualified tutor/assessor and International Brevet judge. Her former career was in accountancy and taxation with BDO Chartered Accountants. She previously was the Gymnastics NI treasurer and is currently the CEO of Salto Gymnastics Centre. 

Ken Nixon

Ken is a former Chairman and Secretary of the NI Sports Forum and a past President and Chairman of Ulster Badminton.He has volunteered in the Sport of Badminton for over forty years which includes the Board of Badminton Ireland and the Board of GB Badminton.He was Chairman of the Confederation of British Sport and a Director of Sports Resolutions UK. and other Boards include the Mary Peters Trust and the Northern Cricket Union.
He was a member of the Government led Sports Matters Strategy Monitoring Group for six years and is Chairman of the Trustees of Lisburn Racquets Club. 
He has extensive experience of the workings of Governing Bodies and Clubs and as a Solicitor brings Legal and Governance skills to the Board.

Anthony Mitchell

Anthony has been involved with the sport of Cycling for over 40 years, as a competitor administrator and coach. He has previously been secretary of Cycling Ulster and served a full 6-year term as a Director of Cycling Ireland 2013-19, returning again in 2020 as Honorary Secretary.
He is the Ulster Track Cycling Coach and has managed the Cycling team at the 2011 Youth Games and 2018 Senior Games, joining the Commonwealth Games Board in 2018.

Brand Guidelines

To protect the integrity of the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland brand, this guide outlines a systematic approach to engaging with our trademark that is meticulous and consistent across all online and print material used by stakeholders.
View CGA Guidelines Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision, Mission and Values


To effectively provide an opportunity for Northern Ireland’s athletes to excel in international multi-sport competition. To provide encouragement and support for each athlete as they strive towards excellence at Commonwealth Games.


To successfully present a team of Northern Ireland’s athletes at each Commonwealth Games, including Commonwealth Youth Games, and to promote the best interests of our athletes and their sports.


The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council subscribes to the values of the Commonwealth Games Federation – Humanity, Equality, Destiny. These values are as relevant in Northern Ireland as they are throughout the wider Commonwealth community. The decision making processes to be used should always offer consideration to these values.
Resources Links


Download resource documents below which you may find useful.


Please see below for some useful links:

The home of Commonwealth sport in Northern Ireland.

The home of TeamNI.