Sporting Lives utilises a range of methodologies to explore the biographies of the men and women who have been the British sports coaches, scientists and entrepreneurs of the last two hundred years. Projects range from using archival material to illuminate the lives of the Manchester men who oversaw the training and organisation of North West pedestrians during the first half of the nineteenth century to Olympic based research that uses oral history to understand the career trajectories of the coaches and sports scientists who have accompanied British teams since 1948. While Sporting Lives is still in its infancy the long term aim is to make widely available a wealth of novel historical data relating to sporting and coaching lives which will help inform contemporary debates, especially within coaching communities, about the tensions between craft and science.
Dr Dave Day (View profile)
Dave joined MMU in 1996 having taken ten years out from teaching to coach swimming fulltime. His PhD on coaching practices and lives during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries included biographies of some of the leading coaches of the period and this provided the stimulus for the project Sporting Lives.
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Dave Day’s interests lie in the history of coaching and training practices, but more particularly in the individual biographies of the Victorian and Edwardian men, and occasionally women, who made careers out of coaching sport. He is currently following up his recent work on the craft approaches and communities of practice that underpinned the traditional work of nineteenth century swimming professors and the coaching life of the professional Walter Brickett, Olympic swimming trainer to the 1908 and 1912 British teams, with research into the lives and practices of professional athletics coaches Harry Andrews and Alec Nelson as well as exploring the life of F. A. M. Webster, a prominent field events coach of the early twentieth century. Other work in process includes an examination of the lives of boxing entrepreneurs of the eighteenth century, a consideration of the cultural differences between American and British attitudes to training and coaching for the modern Olympics, and the relevance of theories of industrial districts to the localised coaching communities of the nineteenth century.
Completed her BA in Coaching and Sports Development at MMU Cheshire; her undergraduate dissertation focussing on soccer spectators from the early twentieth century. Following the success of her degree, she embarked on an MPhil in September 2008 within the area of Sport History. Drawing from her knowledge in the field she took a role as an Associate Lecturer at MMU Cheshire and Glyndwr University where she continues to work whilst writing her PhD.
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Samantha Oldfield is dedicated to the history of Victorian Britain, specifically nineteenth century sport, sporting entrepreneurs and biographies. She is currently continuing to develop her work on Manchester ’sporting’ publicans, creating individual biographies of those involved within local pedestrianism for the production of a prosopographical database. Other work includes soccer spectatorship and how changes in infrastructure have impacted on those who watch the sport, the Olympics and the development of technology from 1908, and social media as a tool to promote the 2012 London Games.
Newton Heath Football Club in 1892 (later becoming Manchester United) formed at The Shear’s Inn, Oldham Road where Thomas Hayes, landlord and ex-professional pedestrian, erected the Copenhagen Grounds, a famous pedestrian running circuit during the mid nineteenth century.
James Holden’s White Lion, Long Millgate, hub for pedestrian activity between 1840 and 1880
Completed her BSc and MSc at Swansea University becoming involved in studies relating to Type II diabetes and physical activity. Produced her MSc thesis in 2009 on the psychological effects of Type II diabetes on walking and exercise programmes. Recepient of the MMU Cheshire PhD Studentship, changing her focus from Sports Science to Sports History, an area of keen interest.
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Tegan Carpenter’s research is focused on the history of the Olympics; more specifically centred on oral history accounts from coaches and sport science support staff who have accompanied the British teams since the 1948 Games. Targeting four sports; athletics, swimming, canoeing and boxing; working forwards from 1948 in twelve year blocks using oral histories and archival research to explore how people were selected for these roles, what their experiences were at the Games and their reflections on their overall role as coaches/sports scientists/medical support staff.