Discouraging Blantyre Children

We take sports as an important and vital part of school activities these days. One of the most popular sports being Football. It’s fun, exciting, very social and with health benefits. Rightly so. However, things were very different a 100 years ago.

footballDuring November 1905 the Blantyre School Board Chairman reported his concern that there was appearing to be a swing towards “athletes” at school, rather than “academics”. His words were minuted that the bad influence of sport infiltrating into the curriculum was down “entirely to the game of football”. He motioned that “the Board had agreed to discourage the game of football as it was indulged too much by the boys at the present time. Furthermore, it was the agreed opinion of the Board that the sustained effort in the game of football as played in open field or ground, was injurious and damaging to the overall health of the boys. This is what a good many local school authorities think, even if they are fearful to say it. Blantyre School Board will take action at the forefront and in the interests of children”.

Source: Westminster Gazette and also Aberdeen Journal Saturday 18th November 1905

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Henry Hambley Interesting how this comment re health related benefits of football should come up at the same time as research into effects of playing football and an increased incidence of dementia related conditions related to possible effects of heading footballs. I know that some authorities are suggesting that heading should be banned in young players.
Deesha Shaw I’m of the opinion that football promotes cliques that in turn create an us or them mentality. Rangers v Celtic, are the classic example. Back in the 70’s, on my first day of Secondary School, the first question I was asked was if I supported rangers? Or Celtic?. Even if you professed to favouring a different team, or even none, still came back to that. Are you Scotland or England? Rangers or Celtic? Protestant or Catholic?

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