4. Australias Sporting Identity

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Transcript of 4. Australias Sporting Identity

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    Digital Unit

    Australias Sporting Identity

    1 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    2 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    Things I would like to learn in this topic include

    For a full list of relevant websites, navigate to the web destinations for NSW PASS via the Student Lounge at www.pearsonplaces.com.au.

    Web Destination

    For details on the required outcomes for this unit, go to the website:


    UNIT OUTCOMES: 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

    We thank the following for their contributions to this unit:

    Alamy Corbis Australia Pty Ltd

    Dreamstime iStockphoto

    Getty Images Australia Pty Ltd News Digital Media Newspix/News Ltd

    Nicole Tuck Powerhouse Museum

    Shutterstock State Library of Queensland

    ThinkstockEvery effort has been made to trace and acknowledge copyright. However, should any infringement have

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    Unit vocabulary list

    Achievement Identity Professional

    Amateur Influence Recreational

    Endeavours Participation Spectator

    Facilities Perception Sponsorship

    Funding Performance Technology







  • Australias Sporting Identity

    3 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    Australias sporting identityA generally temperate climate, relatively low-cost access to tennis courts, golf courses and other sporting facilities, and the presence of beaches and waterways, open spaces and bushland, encourage Australians to take up outdoor activities as part of their lifestyle. It is not uncommon for crowds of more than 100,000 to be in Melbourne for an AFL grand final.

    Perceptions of Australia and sportMany people view sport as a particularly important part of Australian society. Some have gone as far as to call it a national obsession.

    Herbert Warren Wind in a Sports Illustrated article in 1960 commented:

    Australia is a land completely surrounded by water and inundated with athletes. Australia is a sports playing, sports watching, sports talking, altogether sports-minded country such as the world has never known before.

    The wife of a former United States ambassador to Australia wrote:

    Living in Australia is like living in a gymnasiumtheres always somebody practicing something.

    Olympic President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph on 16 January 1999:

    At the time of writing, Australia (with a population of eighteen million, remember) are world cricket champions, world rugby champions, world tennis champions, world netball champions, world womans hockey champions, and world men and women surfing champions. Further, on per capita basis, Australia was by far the most outstanding performer at the 1996 Olympic Games.

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    4 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    History of sport in AustraliaIt is important to examine the origins of sport in Australia to understand why sport is so significant to Australian society.

    1788Sport arrived in Australia with the first settlement in 1788. Many of the officers and convicts brought with them the sporting traditions of that era; horseracing, cricket, boxing and sports involving animals such as cockfighting. These sports were played as a release from the pressures of work.

    While many of the settlers had a passion for sport, they had limited opportunities to pursue sporting activities before 1850. Australia had few facilities, few sporting administrators to organise contests and few entrepreneurs to sponsor sport. Hyde Park in Sydney served as a sports ground and a place where sheep grazed, soldiers paraded and the general population strolled. It was also the venue for the first race meeting in 1810, the first club cricket match in 1826 and the first rugby union match in 1865.

    1820By the 1820s, sporting clubs began to form. The Sydney Turf Club was one of the first in 1825, followed by the Australian Cricket Club in 1826. Similar clubs were established in other colonies.

    1850s and 60sUntil the 1850s, sport in Australia was informal, occasional, violent and mostly male-dominated. Women were largely excluded, except at times when they could be spectators. Bathing was one of the few recreational pursuits considered acceptable for women in early Australian society.

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    5 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    Until this time Australian sport largely mirrored British models; partly for the immigrants to remind themselves of home, but also to prove that English sport and culture could flourish in this new society.

    It was during the 1850s that Australian sport became more distinctive and was able to develop it own sporting traditions, adapting them to its unique outdoor environment. The gold rushes brought greater wealth and a larger, more diverse population. The Chinese brought their betting traditions; the Cornish introduced wrestling in mining towns; the Germans established sports such as gymnastics and the Scandinavians brought an interest in snow sports. Incomes increased substantially, allowing ordinary Australians more money to spend on sporting pursuits. In the 1860s, holidays such as the half-day Saturday provided more time for sport. A growing network of schools and colleges started inter-school and inter-university competitions. Extended local and city governments assisted with the development of more recreational venues with land being plentiful.


    By the 1850s and 60s, a number of sports in Australia had become well established. Select one of the sports below and provide a brief outline of its early development in Australian society.

    Using the Internet, research one of the following:





    language tip...

    To outline means to sketch in general terms.




  • Australias Sporting Identity

    6 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    7 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    1860s to 1900sFrom the 1860s to the 1900s, sport in Australia was classified as either amateur or professional. It was believed that a true gentleman should be an amateur who played for enjoyment rather than for profit. Amateurism helped to maintain the social boundaries. Playing sport involved expensive fees, meaning the working class was largely excluded from joining sporting clubs. Participating in sports such as cricket, tennis, golf, rowing, yachting, hunting and horseracing, remained a pastime of the wealthy. The working class therefore needed to develop their own competitions. Games such as soccer and rugby league developed into the peoples games and became professional sports, to support players travelling expenses and time off work during competition.

    The chance to earn extra money by gambling on games, enabled competitions to be regular and was supported by the masses. For the working class, sport provided an exciting break from daily work. The outcomes of matches mattered greatly and were discussed throughout the week at work, in pubs and at social gatherings.

    1900sMany amateur sports cancelled their competitions during this time. It was believed that battalions of sportsmen could lead Australias war effort because of their youth, physical condition and the preparation sport had given them. Other working class professional sports continued their competitions in the midst of great controversy.

    The emergence of physical education programs in Australian schoolsBetween 1911 and 1931, the Commonwealth Department of Defence assisted in the development and implementation of a national physical training scheme in Australian schools. It was designed for 12- to 14-year-old males and was the first coordinated approach to physical education in schools. The design and subject matter of these physical training programs and lessons focused on developing disciplined and productive future citizens. Each lesson was constructed using the same formula:

    introduction and breathing exercises

    trunk bending backward and forward

    arm bending and stretching

    balance exercises

    shoulder blade exercises

    trunk turning and bending sideways

    marching, running, jumping and games

    breathing exercises.

    Teachers were required to memorise a precise series of exercises for each lesson and deliver their instructions using specific teaching cues. These drills were superseded in the 1940s as it became clear that physical education programs could be more than just a series of exercise drills.

  • Australias Sporting Identity

    8 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    After participating in a physical training session based on exercise drills from the early 1900s, answer the following questions.

    1 Reflect on the training session you have just completed. How does it compare to a training session you might do today?

    2 Can you identify any health benefits from participating in this session?


  • Australias Sporting Identity

    9 Pearson Australia, a division of Pearson Australia Group

    1950s to 60sThe 1950s and 60s are still considered glorious years for Australian sport. Champions emerged in all major sports. In tennis for example, Australia won fifteen Davi