The history of sport is a highly undermined issue that people tend to ignore. However, sport is a large part of the culture, and its timeline may tell a lot about the development of certain peculiarities in the country. Australian sport has majorly contributed to the cultural evolution shedding light on important topics and concerns. Three major influences of Australian sport include national self-image through sport, sports participation norms, and the presence of minority groups in sport (Adair, 2011). These factors will serve as guides for examining factors that have affected sport in Australian society.
The distant location of Australia from its colonial outpost has significantly influenced the sports culture of the continent. The sport was a means for Britain and its colonies, whether in Australia or outside of it, to stay in touch. In such a manner, the first established sports were cricket and rugby. These efforts were the result of the colonial determination to re-create some of the cultural virtues of a remote “motherland” (Adair, 2011). With the establishment of the sports industry, the idle of the 19th century marked the beginning of Anglo-Australian equality, subsequently turning into a rivalry. Thus the geographical location of Australia played a pivotal role in defining boundaries of inclusion and exclusion within the sport by establishing norms and power relationships in society.
Another socio-economic factor impacting the history of Australian sport is the class divide, which was not conventionally distributed between wealth or power, but rather evaluated on the level of achievements and commitment. Borrowed from English traditions, Australian sport created a significant divide between professional and amateur sports leagues (Adair, 2011). The qualification for professional associations involved such benefits as monetary rewards. Wealth has also defined the adherence to a certain sport, as tennis and golf demonstrated privilege in society.
The gender divide in the Australian sort has also played a significant part linked with physicality norms. Scholars have shown that sport has served as a significant rite of passage into manhood for many young people, reflecting long-held societal beliefs that sport serves as a focal point for such “masculine” behaviors (Adair, 2011). Females had fewer opportunities to participate in the sport until the late twentieth century, and they were often encouraged to engage in female-sufficient’ activities, such as netball, that did not violate conventional notions of femininity.
Minorities have also left a significant impact on the history of Australian sports. Traditional Aboriginal sports and games started to lose their practical significance after European annexation, leading to a decline in Aboriginal culture. These minorities faced substantial barriers to playing at the elite level in Australia at the height of the sporting establishment, with the majority of their participation in amateur sports such as boxing and horse racing (Adair, 2011). Discrimination and stereotyping in sports have also been recorded among Australia’s ethnic minorities. In the Antipodes, each ethnicity played their assigned sport, extending migrant personal roots.
Diving into the historical analysis of Australian sports history, one may find a variety of fundamental factors that influenced the establishment of particular sports and traditions. The article has shown that sport on the continent was formed under English colonial influence, borrowing multiple games to preserve the nation’s identity. Gender inequality and minority repression I also a large part of Australian sports history, offering valuable insight into themes and topics that have affected Australian society.