Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/163

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the Olympian games, to the prizes offered for the greatest achievements in poetry or art.

Eighty years ago there was not a college gymnasium in the United States, to-day a college without a gymnasium is unknown. Eighty years ago gymnastic instructors were not to be had and no one in America knew how to produce them. Now there are a number of normal and training schools turning out physical instructors and yet the demand keeps so far ahead of the supply that such teachers are paid, when engaged, about twice as much as the teachers in other branches, and, as for the colleges, gentlemen of liberal culture, graduates in the arts and in medicine, are glad to accept positions as directors of the gymnasia and of the physical training.

In two hundred cities of the United States there were three years ago vacation schools, and schools of like character were projected in Buenos Ayres and Amsterdam. Similar schools are also in operation in London. These schools are chiefly for the teaching of manual training, games and deportment, and employed in New York City 1,400 teachers in 1903. In St. Louis a practise was instituted of taking the older boys in the vacation schools to see the principal base-ball games played in the city, as a means of enhancing their interest in manly sport.

As the result of a questionnaire, Dr. McCurdy, of the Springfield Training School, found that out of 555 cities in the United States, from which he got replies, 128, or 23 per cent., employ special physical training teachers (102 men and 189 women). Practically aU the schools in the 555 cities had playgrounds. Of 427 schools not employing special physical training teachers, 190 used some special system of physical training. Of the high schools of the 128 cities employing physical training teachers, 113, or 88 per cent., have football teams, and in 386 other cities, 319, or 83 per cent., have football teams, while half as many of the grammar schools in both classes had football teams. In 36 per cent, of the cities where special physical training teachers are not employed, and in 68 per cent, of those where such teachers are employed, there are in addition special athletic instructors, or "coaches," for the most part under the direction of the students themselves. It is a commentary on the courage of American boys that there were more football teams than baseball, basket-ball or track teams in these 514 cities. The large majority of the school superintendents approves of competitive athletics in the high schools. Dr. McCurdy speaking of the need of gymnastic exercises for the girls says, "adequate and satisfactory teaching will be absolutely necessary for both sexes in the near future."

Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick, director of physical training in the New