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The History of Swimming A2 OCR PE

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Dan Greaves

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of The History of Swimming A2 OCR PE

The History of Swimming
Swimming and Bathing
In the middle ages (c.1200-1500) towns were built at defensive sites and river crossing points. Bathing for pleasure was common, especially on hot summer days.
As well as a natural playground, the river provided a ready supply of food, a means of transport and somewhere to wash.
Popular recreation
Courtly Recreation
The Chivalric code
: The courteous, gallant and gentlemanly behavior associated with the upper class
Public school development
Stage 1: Followed similar characteristics to popular recreation - Informal bathing in natural facilities during the summer months

How does this relate to swimming and bathing today?
With work, play and the river so interrelated, learning to swim for safety became a necessity. In the natural environment, it was as important to swim as to run.
How did swimming reflect the characteristics of this period?
Natural / simple
occasionally the river itself froze, providing a a surface for multi-sports festivals called Frost / Ice fairs
When the Thames froze in 1813 a 4 day fair was set up
Just as Roman nobility had done , the English Aristocracy of the Middle Ages considered the ability to swim as part of the "
chivalric code
The first open air swimming baths was built in London in 1784
Charles II (1660-85) established a series of fashionable swimming contests on the Thames and the development of competitive swimming began
Stage 2: What happened during this period? Think: Social development (Why), technical development (How) and values.
Technical (How):
Age of reform, Muscular Christianity, 6th form responsibility, Development of the House System, playground became the centre of school life.
Social (Why):
Queen Victoria began her reign in 1837 with increased 'Victorian values', A more civilised society, Laws
passed banning cruelty to animals, transport improvements.
Muscular Christianity - 'godliness and manliness', social control, mutual trust between masters and boys
More regular and regulated bathing (for hygiene, safety and recreation. Increasing thought to be beneficial part of a healthy lifestyle.
Stage 3
: In line with rational society: Massive increases of technical development; changing huts, diving boards, purpose built facilities and competitions

examples of swimming areas developed by public schools during this stage.
Charterhouse School: River Wey
Harrow School: "Duck Puddle"
Swimming masters (attendant) were employed for teaching and to oversee safety.
Bathing and swimming as rational recreations
The "
Water Cure
" was popular in inland spas such as
Cheltenham and Bath

which grew into large and prestigious resorts for the
upper class

By the mid C19 the newly emerged
middle class

started to take over these spas and chose them as sites for their new schools (can you give any examples?)
Proprietary Colleges:
Cheltenham, Clifton, Malvern
The gentry (upper class) meanwhile moved onto continental spas and to the English seaside, whose cold, salt water, winter cure was now thought to have the most therapeutic effect
How did Victorian respectability affect bathing and swimming at the seaside?
Beaches were designated as socially exclusive
and single sexed
Bathing machines (wooden changing huts on wheels) gave bathers privacy
By the 1870s the new rail network brought the working class to the seaside. What societal changes allowed the working class to copy the activities of their social superiors? Think
Bathing facilities also started to become organised with floating baths built in town rivers which increased respectability and safety.

Swimming became fashionable for the middle class,
amateur competitive swimming events began and with the formation of clubs and some old swimming festivals became re-established.
In 1869 various middle-class amateur swimming clubs established laws for amateur swimming and in 1874 became the 'swimming association of Great Britain' which then became the Amateur Swimming Association in 1884.

How did the amateur status of swimming affect working class provision and opportunity?
Like athletics and rowing, the
middle class were initially determined to exclude the working class
but by the 1880s some of this exclusivity had diminished and swimming and water polo clubs were becoming established for working classes with the grudging support of the ASA.
Urban Industrial Towns
Describe the living conditions for the working classes during the early period of industrialisation.
overcrowding and disease (e.g. cholera)
Urbanisation (80% migration to major cities) led to two major outbreaks of Cholera in 1832 and 1849 killing thousands.

The wash house act (1846) and the first public health act (1848) and the building of public baths sought to reduce this problem

The former being the catalyst for bathing and swimming in industrial Britain
Public baths were segregated into first class (middle) facilities with plunge pools allowing for early indoor amateur swimming clubs and second class facilities were the working class could "spend" 1d (one penny) to hire a bathroom to wash themselves and their clothes
and today?
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