Historical Studies in Physical Education. The relationship of bathing and swimming in post-industrial communities.
Swimming • Allowed anyone to compete as an amateur. • Not allowed to receive prize money. • Any social class could compete. • Women allowed to compete by the end of 19th century.
Development of Swimming: • Bathing stations were built on river banks. • Spa towns began to develop extensive bathing facilities. • The fashion switched to the seaside and led to seaside bathing. • The Wash-House Acts (1846) led to many industrial towns providing public baths to clean up the working classes. • Middle class swimming clubs were formed mainly from the private Turkish baths.
Development of Swimming (continued) • First National Swimming Championships were held in 1874 when the SAGB was formed. • The ASA was formed in 1884. • Water Polo developed in the public baths and was codified in 1885. • The Amateur Diving Association was formed in 1901. • Swimming struggled to establish itself as a serious/acceptable activity from 1850 – 1910. • WHY???
Development of Swimming (continued) • Transport to the coast for sea bathing influenced the development of swimming, became part of the holiday pattern. • Emphasis on teaching swimming for safety/to save oneself from drowning, e.g. swimming teacher training scheme (1896). • Swimming seen as good fitness benefit for body and mind – swimming for the millions, captains of industry, private Turkish baths developed.
Development of Swimming (continued) • Swimming began to hold popular appeal – feats of endurance, e.g. channel swimming and races on the Thames, development of role models and swimming as a moral force. • Swimming developed as a competitive event – development of strokes, swimming clubs est., ASA formed in 1884, Olympic Sport.
Provision of Indoor Public and Private Swimming Baths. • Government gave grants to build public baths in large towns. • Separate bathing areas for men and women. • Charged maximum of one penny per visit (less for children) to encourage entrance. • Washing facilities available. • Provided a large pool for swimming to take place. • Competition developed in the large pool e.g. races and water polo.
Sport on the River • Various types of boating – sailing, rowing, canoeing, river jousting and vaulting. • River festivals and regattas took place. • Skating developed when rivers were frozen. • Frost fairs/festivals took place on frozen rivers. • Rivers used for commerce for transport, travel and food (fish). • Rivers used for bathing, diving and walking along.
Regattas • Rowing – ARA est. lower class excluded. • Swimming – ASA est. had amateur championships. • Sailing – open to wealthy/upper class who could afford it. • Canoeing became popular.
Why are natural facilities are seldom used today? • Indoor facilities now leisure based – slides, splash pools, jacuzzis, bars and restaurants. • Lack of privacy/modesty. • Pollution in rivers/streams. • Ample provision of indoor facilities, privacy and hygiene. • Safety.