The Beginnings of Modern Sport in 19th Century England

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Links with manliness, patriotism and character

Patriotism: is a devotion to ones country and a willingness to defend it

  • Organised sport became a perfect way to achieve patriotism
  • Through the education system public schools elite private schools and unis virtues such as team loyalty discipline and sacrifice were encouraged and developed, particularly in males.


Muscular Christianity: was a concept of a healthy body combined with fine morals of sportsmanship, playing by the rules and leading an active Christian life.

  • In the late 1850’s the concept of muscular Christianity was developed. It became an influence in schools, unis and working mens clubs.


The Meaning of Amateur and Professional in Britain and Colonial Australia

Amateur: Term for someone who participates in sport without being paid/ financial benefit.

  • During the 19th Century is was believed that a true sportsman should be an amateur
  • Amateur helped keep the social boundaries in place.
  • Amateur-sporting clubs controlled sports such as athletics and because the lower class couldn’t afford to join they were not allowed to participate.
  • Sports such as Cricket and Rugby were considered to be the pastimes of the upper class.


Professional: Players receive payment for playing a sport or make it their livelihood.

  • Working class therefore needed to develop their own entertainment and competitions.
  • 1895 rugby league split form rugby union and league became widespread and developed into a Professional sport and union remained amateur.


Amateurs and Professionals

  • The Purpose of classifying the amateurs and professionals in this way is to effectively segregate the classes, keeping the ‘ working class' away from the sporing and leisure activities of the upper and middle classes.
  • The modern day concept of professionalism was introduced was to preserve sport for athletes who competed for pleasure and intrinsic benefits rather then monetary prizes
  • The USSR introduced the concept of the ‘State Amateur’ where by athletes were financially supported by the Govt.
  • Current Olympic Attitude to Professionalism doesn’t stop athletes from earning money or sponsorship to support training
    • Boxing is still classified as amateur
    • Up until 1992, Tennis and Basketball were the same


Women’s Participation In Games and Sport in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century

  • Women in the Victoria Era were expected to be pale, fragile and feminine in their characters and always to be sedentary
  • Their ultimate role was to be motherly and decorative
  • Women’s participation in sport today is growing.


Myths about women participating in games and sport

  • Many said that sport was harmful to female anatomy
  • reproductive system would be damaged
  • women will become coarse, degraded and defiled
  • female body structure was too fragile
  • women would develop unattractive muscle bulk

Reasons for lack off participation in the past

  • Sexism
  • Sex Role Socialisation
  • Stereotyping of the media
  • Societies concept of femineity
  • Lack of Role Models
  • Low Level of encouragement.


Increase in women’s participation in sport and physical activity

This can be due to:-

  • Feminism
  • Greater Independence
  • More leisure time
  • Realisation of the benefits of sport and physical activity
  • Concept of equity.



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