The Concept of Amateurism Essay

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Amateurism can be defined as a person who engages in a persuit, especially sport on an unpaid basis. A person who engages in amateur organisations does so as a past time rather than as a profession. The concept of amateurism in the nineteenth century differs radically from its meaning today. Today’s concept of “amateurism” is much improved to the concept of amateurism in the 19th century in terms of social, economic and political factors. The original concept of “amateurism” was underpinned by the social status one held. The concept of amateurism excluded the working class from the sports, clubs and games of the upper classes (middle and upper). According to the Victorian Amateur Athletic Association in 1890, an amateur was “one who has never competed for a money prize, staked a bet, or declared a wager, or who has not knowingly and without protest competed with or against a professional for a prize of any description or for public exhibition, or who has never taught, pursued or assisted in the practice of any athletic exercise as a means of livelihood or for pecuniary (monetary)” (Crego, R., 2003, Connecticut, Pg140) In the 19th Century those who used their athletic skill professionally or as a source of income were seen by the upper class as being “unfit for membership” of their amateur clubs. It is widely understood, according to Earle F. Ziegler that “ the concept of amateurism was developed to protect the middle and upper classes from the “invasion” by the working class into the leisure-time activities of the more privileged.” (Ziegler, E. F., 2003,OXFORD,Pg.127) In Cricket matches in the 19th century players were labelled “players” and “gentlemen” by their social status. “Players” were those who used their athletic and physical skill to gain a prize while “gentlemen” were seen as amateurs. However the “gentlemen” were paid to act as batters for

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