(and its origins in Spain & Catalonia)
Sports and Society
Xavier Carmaniu Mainadé
Characterics of modern sport
Started in England in 18th – 19th century.
Sport is an activity with rules that players have to know
It’s a competitive activity.
Sports are structured in clubs and organizations.
Majority of sports come from ancient and traditional
activities (entertainment games).
After the UK, sports expanded to Europe.
Timeline of 19th century in Spain
Politically unestable century (a lot of military coups)
1808-1814: Napoleon War.
1814-1833: Fernando VII (absolutism).
1833-1868: Isabel II (stability).
1868-1874: Sexenio Democrático (progressive era).
1873: 1st Republic (just 11 months, 4 presidents).
1875: “Restauración” (Restoration of the monarchy)
A way of life
In spanish also the word
was sport” (no “deporte”).
Not just a practice it was
a way of life.
Sport was associated with:
High cultural level.
Reasons for the expansion of sport
Industrialization cities + middle-class (burgeoisie).
Liberal politics (new political ideas).
International comercial relationships.
Foreigners + natives with modern interests = burgeoisie
Domestic Expansion: from exclusive minority to the
Sport gave the possibility to jump social classes.
The bourgeoisie: the key to
Social class linked with
They were the elite not
High cultural level.
New ways to spend free
time in the cities.
The city: the necessary space
Sport can only happen with human participation.
Demographical growth and urban modernisation (city
walls taken down).
New ways to spend time in urban spaces
Physical activity is seen as a life style for modern
Main cities: Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao.
Smaller cities as well (after).
What sports were practiced?
Gyms appeared first. Two
Groups of people created a
Private businesses that
charged for its services.
They were a high class
space used for
Also used to promote
Before 1914, there were 60 different sport associations.
The 5 most popular sports in this time were:
Soccer (the most popular).
The first steps
Ad from a newspaper
The “Dandy Horse”.
Wood structure + metallic
22 kgs. (48,5 pounds)
Velocity: 13kms/ h. (8
Penny Farthing models
RIDING A BIKE HAD A LOT OF
Social Distinction (they were expensive
It paid attention to modern interests
(bike was the last modern invention).
First bike just for sport, but also used as a
form of transport (It’s the same as
motorbikes, cars and planes).
Cycling was the first sport that appeared on
the streets: this allowed sports to be viewed
on the streets.
1885, John Kemp Sartley.
The 2 wheels were the
Chain on the back wheel.
Sartley didn’t patent the
invention, so it became
1888 John Dunlop
Velocipédica de Madrid.
1887 similar clubs in
Barcelona, Lleida, Oviedo
1890 "El Ciclista", first
sport magazine in
6 ciclyng clubs existed in
Madrid by in 1896.
Evolution begin in 1859
from a mix of different
1872 the first tennis club
in England was founded.
1877 Wimbledon started.
1888 Universal Exhibit of
Intellectuals & tennis
1900-1930 a lot of catalan intellectuals played tennis:
Pau (Pablo) Casals, musician.
Josep Carner, poet.
J. V. Foix, poet.
Pompeu Fabra, linguistics (author of catalan grammar).
Before 1939 (civil war) the catalan culture was modern
and european (and sport was very popular).
b. 1868 – d. 1945.
Father of modern catalan
1932 Dictionary of
Died in the exile
Poetry and tennis
b. 1884 – d. 1970
Translated the best
Nickname: ”The prince
of catalan poets”.
He died in exile.
Joc del tennis / Juego del tennis
Anaves damunt l'herba de la prada
i volava el teu braç adolescent,
i pel filat de la raqueta alçada
travessava la llum del sol ponent.
La pau dominical tan desesmada
i ta faç d'angeleta i el rabent
joc seriós m'encisen la diada.
D'un rector reformat, pàl·lidament,
et veia filla; entorn del presbiteri
collies roses; contes de misteri
amaves i blancatge i els infants.
Jo, oficial, de Singapur venia.
Alt vermellenc, et feia cortesia ...
Carros de fenc passaven odorants.
Por la hierba del prado caminabas, y
volaba tu brazo adolescentei y por la
red de la raqueta alzada se filtraba la
luz del sol poniente.
La paz dominical, desanimada, tu
rostro angelical y aquel veloz y serio
juego todo lo embrujaban.
Te veía, borrosa, hija de un párroco
reformado. Cogías rosas cerca del
presbiterio y te gustaban loscuentos
de misterio, el blanco de las paredes
y los niños.
Yo, oficial, de Singapur volvía. Alto,
ruborizado, te saludaba ... Pasaban
olorosos carros de heno.
b. 1876 - d. 1973
The best celloist of XXth
He died in exile (Puerto
Rico) he gave money to
other spanish and catalans
ONU gave him the gold
The best popular song was
“The song of birds”.
United Nations (1971)
Catalonia & sport:
evolved from two processes
1. Evolution from:
disciplines : fencing,
From the military quarters
to clubs or gyms.
b)Popular sports: racket ball,
2. Influence from english
sports (thanks to
Sport came by way of industrial, comercial and coastal areas :
• Figueres & cycling
• Very close to French border.
• 1891 Sport Figuerense.
• Palamós & soccer
• 1898 the first club with only native people was founded.
• South Area
• Tarragona: harbor.
• Reus: very comercial city.
• Central Area
• Barcelona: harbor, arrival point for foreigners.
• Industrial cities (textile sector): Sabadell, Terrassa, Mataró.
• (Professional industrial workers from other countries worked
and enjoyed free time there).
The first years of sport in Barcelona
There was a demand for
1860 gymnastics and
acrobatics were trendy.
1870s was trendy to go
swimming in the sea.
1883 Racetrack in Can Tunis
(it was a place for the
bourgeoisie = Liceu (opera
Pool tables in popular cafes.