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Sport, Recreation and Leisure

Kibble 150 Anniversary
Scottish Approved Schools Boxing Championship

Scottish Approved Schools Boxing Championship

Scottish Approved Schools Boxing Championship, 1950

Introduction:

Sport, recreation and leisure have always been important elements of Kibble’s curriculum.  These have taken many forms and have changed and developed over the decades, partly due to factors such as new Health and Safety legislation coming into force.  These activities have, however, always been recognised as important to the development and rehabilitation of boys in the centre, in terms of contributing to their confidence-building and self-esteem, self-discipline, ability to work as part of a team, leadership qualities, and general physical and emotional well being.

Historical Background

Following the Boer War (1899-1902) and the large proportion of potential military recruits found to be unfit for service, there was acknowledgement at national levels of the need for a National Efficiency campaign.  This campaign sought to address concerns about physical degeneration and, largely middle class, fears about moral degeneration.  The campaign led to measures such as the creation of ante natal and child health screening, free milk for children, school meals and medical examinations, and family allowance, or child benefit, paid directly to mothers.  It also influenced the drive to encourage young people to engage with youth organisations, such as the Boys’ Brigade and Boy Scouts.  Mr. William Dock, Rector of Dunoon Grammar School, alluded to this campaign in Kibble’s records from 1905 when he presided over a meeting at Kibble of the Renfrewshire branch of The Educational Institute of Scotland.  He reported that one of the speakers ‘read a most interesting paper on “Physical Deterioration”, with special reference to school children’.

(Visitors’ Book 1859-1963, 16th December 1905)

It was also recognised that membership of youth organisations could have a positive impact in reducing juvenile crime and that post-school crime incidence was appreciably lower among boys who were members of groups such as Boy Scouts and the Boys’ Brigade.1

Youth Organisations

Kibble was no exception to these trends; records from 1912 highlight the school’s involvement with such youth organisations:

‘The company of Boy Scouts is in full vigour and proves a valuable aid in maintaining the high tone of the school.  This company was received by His Majesty in Edinburgh in July and was much praised for its smartness.’

(Minutes of Education Committee Meetings 1910-1914, 3rd April 1912 Minutes)

Boys were also encouraged to join the Army Cadet Force, as one of our former pupils told us:

Bob Burniston

Bob Burniston

Bob Burniston, Kibble pupil 1956-58, interviewed 24/07/07

‘…there was the Cadets, which I did; I was the first guy ever to become a Warrant Officer in the Cadets, the local Renfrewshire Cadets.’

(Bob Burniston, Kibble pupil 1956-58, interviewed 24/07/07)

Bob won the discus throwing in the Scottish Cadet Championship in 1957, breaking the record at that time.  He went on to have a successful career in the Army, firstly as a surveyor and then reaching the rank of Sergeant Major in the Physical Training Corps.  After leaving the Army, he emigrated to Canada and worked for sixteen years as Fitness Coordinator for the Toronto Police until his retirement.  Bob also ended up being in the top three in the world for discus throwing in the 65-69 age group.  He therefore exemplifies the positive impact that sporting opportunities can have in turning someone’s life around.

1Ferguson, T., The Young Delinquent in his Social Setting, London, Oxford University Press, 1952, p.37

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