Reclaiming school athletics in Cape Town’s underclass, 1933–1955

Cleophas, Francois Johannes (2022-05-01)

CITATION: Cleophas, F. J. 2022. Reclaiming school athletics in Cape Town's underclass, 1933-1955. Historia, 67(1):62-88. doi:10.17159/2309-8392/2022/v67n1a3

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This article endeavours to make a significant contribution to the broadening of local school athletics history in Cape Town. By focusing on certain historical documents, the article explores the state and scope of athletics in black schools in Cape Town prior to 1956, a largely under-researched field in South African sport history. It does so by identifying prominent administrators, outstanding athletes, and participating schools. Many of these histories have disappeared or have been erased from public consciousness. The article shows how organised school athletics in Cape Town’s oppressed communities have been shaped by a myriad of teachers, politicians, and sport administrators of varying political and social backgrounds. It also provides details of the Trafalgar High School’s Wiener’s Day competitions. Next, a history of the Central School Sports Union and its offshoots is unpacked. Finally, the early years of the Western Province School Sports Board are overviewed. The article concludes by suggesting why it is important to reclaim this particular history.

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