The development of athletics in South Africa : 1814 to 1914

Coghlan, Douglas Victor (1986) The development of athletics in South Africa : 1814 to 1914. PhD thesis, Rhodes University.




The purpose of this study was to record the development of athletics in South Africa from 1814 to 1914. This period was chosen because sport and athletics originated and developed a social institution during that time and the First World into brought progress to a temporary halt, after which there were many new developments. The Cape Colony became British in 1814, and it was British influence that played such a dominant role in the social history of the period. In 1814, both Dutch and British settlers participated in rural sports (boeresport). By 1914,athletic clubs had been formed, provincial associations established, a national association founded, records recognised, teams sent overseas, and athletics had become one of the major sports in the country. In this study the early origins of sport in the world and in Britain have been outlined, with particular emphasis on developments that affected South Africa . Attention has been paid to the influence of British immigrants, such as teachers, soldiers, journalists, fortune-hunters and religious ministers, who came to South Africa and introduced their customs, attitudes, values, mores and expertise . The close links with Britain enabled South Africa to become one of the leading athletic nations in the world. Throughout the study the socia-cultural role of athletics has been indicated, and the interrelationship between athletics and factors such as geography, economics, politics, religion and society in general. In part one the development of athletics in each of the main centres was covered in detail, leading to the formation of clubs and associations in those areas. The interaction between the provincial associations, the national association and the South African Olympic Garnes Committee is then considered. In part two, particular topics have been studied separately, such as: long distance running; professional athletics; walking; the role of women, blacks, juniors and Afrikaners; social aspects including half-holidays, wars, tours and finance; coaching and training; and the influence of outstanding men. The final chapter proposes some conclusions and recommendations. The study confirmed the dominant role of the British; the fact that developments in athletics reflected developments in society; that athletics was considered an important socializing agent; that athletics had become institutionalised before World War One; and that progress was dependent on human endeavour. Advice on problems to avoid in future studies of this nature is given, and topics for further study are suggested .

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Athletics, South Africa
Subjects:T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > Human engineering (Ergonomics)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Human Kinetics & Ergonomics
ID Code:2534
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:19 Mar 2012 13:23
Last Modified:19 Mar 2012 13:23
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