Sport & Leisure History Seminar 2019 #2

seb coe - special people newspaper advert

Monday 28th January 2019

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the convenors for the British Society of Sports History sponsored Sport & Leisure History seminar series at the Insitute of Historical Research. And this term we have a diverse range of speakers and subjects to pique the interest of the historically inclined.

After an excellent start to the year with Dr Jon Hughes it’s the turn of Post-Grad Tom Weir to talk to us about the history of intellectual disability in Britain. This will be a real breakthrough subject for the the seminar series and take us into a refreshingly novel area of intellectual enquiry. To find out more read his abstract below and then come along to what should be a stimulating discussion next Monday.

The difficult birth of Special Olympics GB


Special Olympics GB can trace its existence to a very specific moment in time: when Chris Maloney’s attention was attracted by the enthusiastic cheering of Paul at poolside during a swimming lesson in Gloucester. This has been well documented, but less well known is the difficulties encountered in the first few years; from arguments over the name, difficulties finding athletes to compete, through to the vital role of Chris’ mother and the Kennedy Family. This talk will explore the initial development of Special Olympics GB, considering also what other provision existed for people with learning disability in Britain, from Mencap Gateway clubs, Adult Training Centres through to the ‘Mini-Olympics.’ It will also discuss the reluctance of the British Sports Association for the Disabled (BSAD,) then led by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, to support initiatives for people with learning disability.

This is only the one of a number of series of stimulating talks to be held at the IHR in the S&L series. For the details of seminars forthcoming in 2019 go to the IHR’s website. The talks take place in the John S Cohen on the second floor – doors open from 17:15 and the seminar to start promptly at 17:30. I hope to see you there.


Academia History London Sport

f1insburyparker View All →

Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).

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