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    James Robinson, Manchester “Ped” to Princeton Athletic Trainer

    Oldfield, Samantha-Jayne and Day, Dave (2012) James Robinson, Manchester “Ped” to Princeton Athletic Trainer. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)


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    The professional sport of pedestrianism declined towards the end of the nineteenth century due to the increased influence of the middle-class amateurs who imposed new rules and regulations as a means of controlling the working-class pastime. The Amateur Athletic Association (AAA), established in 1880, no longer welcomed professional pedestrian competitions, banning both the athletes and trainers of the sport in their new athletic constitution. The working-class patrons of pedestrianism found new entertainments but the athletes who were reliant on the professional activities for economic gain struggled to recover. However, due to the perceived transferrable nature of athletic training, some professionals obtained employment in soccer whilst others migrated to foreign countries where coaching was viewed more pragmatically. Many made the transatlantic journey to American where private organisations, athletic clubs and college teams secured the services of successful English trainers who became responsible for the conditioning and wellbeing of a diverse range of athletic performers. This paper will de-construct the biography of James Robinson, considering the structures that shaped his sporting career from working-class pedestrian to influential athletic trainer, providing insight into the changing nature of the athletic environment during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

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