'A far greater game' : sport and the Anglo-Boer War

Allen, Dean Colin (2002-12)

Thesis (MScSportSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Today white South Africans take their sport very seriously and at the tum of the nineteenth century this was no different. The key difference however was that a war had erupted between the two Boer Republics (Orange Free State and the Transvaal) and Britain. The Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 was fought for the supremacy of South Africa at a time when sport was still developing within the country and like other facets of its culture, it too became entwined within a conflict that was to effect the whole future of Southern Africa. This socio-historical study is an attempt to explore sport during this era and how it impinged upon the relationship between Boer and Briton. A pivotal period in South African history, the account will trace the background and nature of the Anglo-Boer conflict and how a passion for sport was shared by both sides throughout and beyond the hostilities. Britain had indeed introduced its sporting codes to South Africa prior to the war and cricket and rugby in particular were already established within its towns and cities. The origins of both sports will be examined here including the significance of the first tours which took place between South Africa and Britain during this time. The majority of research for this study has been completed in South Africa, predominately within the Western Cape but also during spells in the Free State and Gauteng. Visits have also been made to various sources in the UK including Twickenham and Lords. Whilst published work has been used, concerted efforts have been made throughout to include data obtained from primary sources. The descriptive nature of the work has also necessitated the employment of qualitative methods of analysis with data gathered from archive and literary sources selectively underpinned with information from a number of interviews.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrikaanse Blankes is vandag baie ernstig oor hul sport en aan die einde van die negentiende eeu was dit ook nie anders nie. Die belangrikste verskil was egter dat 'n oorlog uitgebreek het tussen die Boererepublieke (Oranje-Vrystaat en die Transvaal) en Brittanje. Die Anglo-Boereoorlog van 1899-1902 is geveg vir die oppergesag van Suid-Afrika toe sport, net soos baie ander fasette van die kultuur, steeds besig was om te ontwikkel in die land. Dit het deel geword van 'n konflik wat die hele toekoms van Suidelike Afrika sou raak. Hierdie sosio-kulturele studie is 'n poging om sport tydens hierdie era te verken en hoe dit die verhouding tussen Boer en Brit beïnvloed het. Hierdie was 'n deurslaggewende periode in die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis en die studie sal die agtergrond en aard van die Anglo-Boerekonflik navors en toon hoe 'n passie vir sport gedeel is deur beide partye ten spyte van al die vyandigheid. Brittanje het inderdaad voor die oorlog sy sportkodes na Suid-Afrika gebring en veral krieket en rugby was alreeds gevestig in die stede. Die oorsprong van beide sportsoorte sal hier bestudeer word, insluitend hoe belangrik die eerste toere was wat in hierdie tyd tussen Suid-Afrika en Brittanje plaasgevind het. Die meeste navorsing vir hierdie studie is in Suid-Afrika gedoen, hoofsaaklik in die Wes- Kaap, maar ook, met tye, in die Vrystaat en Gauteng. Besoeke is ook afgelê in verskeie plekke in die Verenigde Koninkryke, bv. Twickenham en Lords. Terwyl van sekondêre bronne gebruik gemaak is, is daar deurgaans nougeset te werk gegaan om primêre bronne te ontsluit. Die beskrywende aard van die werk het ook die gebruik van kwalitatiewe metode van analise van data genoodsaak. Hierdie data is versamel vanuit argivale en literêre bronne wat goed ondersteun is deur inligting verkry uit 'n aantalonderhoude. iv

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