Review Blog

Jan 26 2017

Sportsmanship by Net Brennan

cover image

Our stories series. Black Dog Books, 2016. ISBN 9781742032337
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Sport. Australian history. Culture. Icons. Another in the excellent series, Our stories this book fills a gap in books about themes in Australia's history. Sportsmanship is a worthy addition giving an overview of the place sport has played in shaping Australia's traditions and values. Our identity as a people has been enhanced by the achievements of our sporting heroes, and the stories of their triumphs are part of the mythology which blends us as a nation.
Of course, it all started with cricket, and the opening chapter, 'In the Beginning, there was Cricket', parodies a famous opening line, underlining the importance of this game in Australia's colonial past, a time when the first team that toured England was made up of Aboriginal players. Each one or two pages introduces the reader to a famous person or sporting event. Well known sporting heroes are introduced with information about what they achieved: Les Darcy, Don Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, along with others perhaps not so well known, Fanny Durack and Shane Gould amongst them. Between these are chapters about events: the Melbourne Olympic Games, the start of the Ashes series, the Bodyline Series, the America's Cup, as well as an event which forced Australia to make changes, that of Nicky Winmar's action in a football match in 1993.
Each has a part in making our nation what it is today, a rich and diverse nation, proud of its heritage and stories of past heroes, and proud of those who compete today. Trust, mateship, inclusiveness, confidence... the list goes on revealing attributes related to our involvement in sport. Some wonderful photographs have been included, and these along with a brief glossary, bibliography and serviceable index make this a worthy addition to the school library.
Fran Knight

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