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King’s College Record

June 1879

We hear much now-a-days of Athletic sports in connection with popular amusements, and each recurring sporting season finds increased interest taken in those harmless and healthful exercises, which, if not necessary to existence, are certainly beneficial to the health and constitution of everyone…(a brief account of the Greek, Roman and English history of sport)

…With the decline of the chivalric spirit, English athletic sports fell into disuse. Their revival, however, originated in some of the great educational institutions. The initiatory steps were taken by the Royal Military College; but upwards of twenty years elapsed before their introduction to the other colleges and to the chief public places could be reguarded as general. But in time "Athletic Clubs" were formed, and the spirit of competitive rivalry extended itself; and now, even in Canada and elsewhere the interest taken in those athletic enterprises is evinced by the rapid increase of such clubs and associations , and the alacrity with which schemes relative to a probable competitive contest are engaged in.

But apart from the time-honoured heirlooms of antiquity, various modern field sports and athletic exercises have been devised. These substitutions are more in keeping with the requirements of the age, and more subservient to the purposes of amusement and relaxation. All vestiges of a rude and boisterous character are eliminated, and our popular games are divested of everything tending to weary and disgust, rather than refresh and exhilarate.. Conscious among such is Cricket, which perhaps should be reguarded as a purely national sport; it exercises the body without exciting it, and stimulates the mind to wholesome action, and in whatever locality it is introduced it almost invariably attains popularity.

And may we not use the plain term "boating," as designating pleasures, which, though enjoyed by a fascination best understood by those experienced therein, and the numerous college and other boating clubs extant abundantly testifying how widely it is appreciated.

It is unnecessary to dwell on the ardour with which the sport-loving Canadian public regard that charming athletic game, "LaCrosse," so conducive to lively action and graceful bearing; not to speak of football, baseball and numerous others, which indicate a growing fondness for affording recreation to the body, relaxing the mind and strained faculties, and passing away dull hours in life in jovial, animating, and exciting amusements. And, though some grave persons, under the shabby disguise of religious sanctity, class indiscriminately all amusements as worldly frivolity and a waste of time, yet seldom has their depreciating of the God-given gifts of mirth, and a taste for enjoyment, been beneficial to themselves or instrumental in deterring others from embracing Nature’s true method of reinvigorating the mind, imparting healthy activity and lively physical energy to the worn out frame, and eradicating those sour, sullen and morose feelings so eminently characteristic of this worthy class.

Lowry (hand written in)


Excerpt From:
King’s College Record – Vol 1
King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Library
– King’s College Archive

 

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