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National Fitness Council of South Australia (1939 - 1975)

From
1939
South Australia, Australia
To
1975
Occupations
Sporting Organisation

Summary

The National Fitness Council of South Australia was a government advisory body established in 1939 that alerted individuals to the importance of gaining physical fitness, and encouraged community interest in open space and the "Quality of Environment." In 1976 the Council was taken over by the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport.

Details

From its inception the National Fitness Council offered women a decided role in the organization and promotion of recreation in South Australia. As most of its programmes were sex segregated, administrative and practical positions for women within the agency were assured.

The Council continued to play a major role in fostering women's sport in the post-war years. It provided coaching assistance in a variety of sports (including tennis, athletics, hockey, netball and was also instrumental in organizing and promoting new team sports. It was responsible for the formation of the South Australian Amateur Gymnastic Association in 1952, and the introduction of softball, cricket and court cricket to girls' schools. In 1941, the Council expanded its activities outside the country areas into rural and regional South Australia.

Through the provision of financial and administrative
assistance, played a major role in the formation of the South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council which, in turn, was important in providing suitable playing gorunds for women's sport. Repeated attempts by the National Fitness Council and the South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council to get government assistance were partially rewarded in 1952 when the state government donated 19 acres of land for the development of a women's sports field. This was the area that would become known as the South Australian Women's Memorial Playing Fields.

Sources used to compile this entry: Randall, Leonie M., 'A Fair Go?: Women in Sport in South Australia: 1945 - 1965', Hons thesis, Flinders University, 1986. Also available at http://www.aafla.org/SportsLibrary/ASSHSSH/ASSHSSH06.pdf.

Related entries

Member

  • Fisher, Elizabeth M. (1925 - )

    Betty Fisher was involved with the National Fitness Council of South Australia as the Secretary for the Women's Creative Arts & Craft Groups.

Related Organisations

  • South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council (1953 - )

    The South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council and the National Fitness Council campaigned together succssfully to gain funding and resources that would evenutaly lead to the establishment of the South Australian Women's Memorial Playing Fields.

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Papers relating to the National Fitness Council of South Australia, 1964 - 1976, PRG 1366/38; Records of Betty Fisher; National Fitness Council of South Australia (1939 - 1975), Fisher, Elizabeth M.; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

State Records of South Australia

  • National Fitness Council records National Fitness Council records National Fitness Council records, 1939 - 1975, GRG95; National Fitness Council of South Australia (1939 - 1975); State Records of South Australia. Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124