Athletes start the century as normal, healthy citizens, and end up as potentially unhealthy physiological 'freaks', while the general public are increasingly urged to do more exercise and play more sports. This book offers a comprehensive study, and social history, of the development of sports medicine in Britain, as practiced by British doctors and on British athletes in national and international settings. It describes how and why, in Britain, medicine applied to sport became first an area of expertise known as sports medicine, and then a formal medical specialty: Sport and Exercise Medicine. In the late nineteenth century, vigorous exercise was an acceptable, probably necessary, part of the moderate healthy lifestyle for the normal, healthy man. Consequently sports medicine was part and parcel of normal medical treatment, distinguishable only through its location or through its patient history. There was no wide-spread de facto scepticism about the value of vigorous exercise among physicians and scientists. The normality of the young male athlete is reconsidered between 1928 and 1952. At the end of the period, the athlete becomes an abnormal or supernormal human being who demands specialist medical interventions. The formation and work of British Association of Sport and (Exercise) Medicine, the Institute of Sports Medicine, the Sports Council, and the British Olympic Association's Medical Committee is discussed. The book finally discusses fitness. Normal life, war, elite competition gives us an insight into how athletic bodies are conceptualised, and how sports medicine has formed and reformed over a century.
judgement about specialism. 7
The more formal version of this story, told in the pages of the British Journal of Sports Medicine , suggests that at this dinner Dame Fiona ‘gave an address which [had] major implications for the future of sports medicine in the British Isles. She announced the establishment of a Board of SportandExerciseMedicine’. 8 Her announcement at the dinner itself suggests that it was not a spontaneous decision taken under royal pressure, but rather the consequence of longer-term activity. The Institute of Sports Medicine had formed a working
What is sports medicine?
Histories of disciplines or professions always risk becoming teleological. In seeking origins it is easy to develop a sense of inevitability about the development of some activities, while anything that is not part of modern practice can be judged as ill-conceived, a detour away from the ‘real story’ and simply irrelevant. Sports medicine was recognised as a formal specialty in the UK in 2005, and gained its first British organisation – the British Association of Sportand (Exercise) Medicine (BAS
Plans for a Permanent Research Centre for Sports Medicine – a paper by Dr Edholm, 15 Apr. 1966.
14 [NA] FD23/89. Medical Research and sport . Note from Dr Russell to Mr Mears, 28 Jan. 1963.
15 [NA] FD23/89. Memorandum attached to Note from Dr Russell to Mr Mears, 23 Jan. 1963.
16 ‘Editorial’, BJSM 1 (1964), 42; Archives of the British Olympic Association [hence: BOA] 34.23 MED INJUR. Materials on Sports Medicine . Report of the Olympic Medical Archives, Tokyo 1964 (ed. Toshiro Azuma).
17 British Association of SportandExerciseMedicine Archives
Manchester’s Recruiting Statistics: Degeneration as an “Urban Legend” in Victorian and Edwardian Britain’ Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences , 63 ( 2008 ), 178–216.
127 Kenneth Sandilands (‘Sandy’) Duncan (see Chapter 4 ) was invited but could not attend. British Association of SportandExerciseMedicine Archives [Hence: BAS(E)M]. Minutes of the Executive Committee . 23 Jun. 1952.
130 Ibid; A Abrahams and AE Porritt, ‘Sport and Medicine’ Lancet 260 ( 1952 ), 90; A Abrahams and AE Porritt, ‘Sport and Medicine
42 BAS(E)M was asked to contribute to the design and content of this new course. ‘Editorial’ BJSM 8 (1974), 67.
43 R Harland, ‘SportandExerciseMedicine – a Personal Perspective’ Lancet 366 ( 2005 ), s53–4; various witnesses, Reynolds & Tansey, The Development of Sports Medicine .
44 As an example, in 1974 Salford began to offer a BSc in Human Movement Studies and Physiology which had a strong sports medicine/science component. Anon, ‘Miscellaneous Notices’ BJSM 8 ( 1974 ), 129.
45 Dr Hugh Burry, FRCP, had been in the New Zealand All Black