All-Round Weightlifting: Small Spaces, Big Weights - the Recreation and Reconceptualisation of a Strength Sport

Crisp, P. (2016) All-Round Weightlifting: Small Spaces, Big Weights - the Recreation and Reconceptualisation of a Strength Sport. In: The Playing Field - Making Sense of Spaces and Places in Sporting Culture. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, pp. 157-166. ISBN 9781848884526

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It would not be unreasonable to say that, in the field of sports development and the arrangements that are tied to the ideas of provision of sport through ‘space’, much academic discussion centres on the ideas of popular sport, the provision of recreational facilities, and how sport can be used to address a wide range of social policy areas. In fact, although contextually located, using what can be termed as popular, or mainstream sport is seen as the most pragmatic or perhaps even ‘obvious’ way of effecting many of these goals – from encouraging greater participation to generating a wider sense of community. But focusing on mainstream sport or areas that receive public expenditure by its very nature omits smaller, perhaps ‘underground’ sports that exist through the continued persistence of a range of volunteers that are limited in many respects financially and operationally, again because of any greater sense of awareness, scale, or recognition by both sports and governmental bodies.

One example of such a sport is All-Round Weightlifting. In effect, a sport that draws upon the history of what we now know as the sports of Powerlifting and Weightlifting, both of whose further reaching histories are for all intents and purposes at danger of being lost. In this article I outline how the use of a number of spaces driven by committed individuals, really not much more than a handful, have revisited, maintained, and continued to create history within their sport. And whilst the spaces within which they operate are invariably what may be termed old school gymnasiums, perhaps out of kilter with the modern commercialised sense of fitness and strength culture, they are still at the same time spaces that embody the sense of voluntarism and champion many of the meanings associated with early 20th Century Physical Culture.

Key Words: Past, history, voluntarism, reinvention.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Area > Sport Social Sciences
Depositing User: Phil Crisp
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 15:16
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 09:04

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