Coubertin Quote for Mar, 21
Sport means movement, and the influence of movement on bodies is something that has been evident from time immemorial.Share
This is one of the earliest pieces of writing in Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s campaign to reform the French education system. It is from an 1887 article on English Education published in La Réforme Sociale, the magazine of Frederic Le Play’s Union for the Social Peace, which championed improvements in the quality of life of all French citizens. Although he was only 24 at the time, Coubertin framed his idea against the entirety of human history—as if the benefits of sport had been obvious to everyone all along. His certainty of the benefits of physical education for school children was unshakable. Note in the passage below how he proclaims “that it is only through sports” that the improvement he is calling for can be introduced.
“What seems to me the most noteworthy aspect of English education is the role that sports plays in that education. This role is physical, moral, and social, all at the same time... I believe that, although we may hope for certain reforms in our system, it is only through sports that they can be introduced. Sports means movement, and the influence of movement on bodies is something that has been evident from time immemorial.”