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Listed under:  Health  >  Physical activity  >  Sports  >  Athletics

Allied soldiers' athletics carnival, c1918 - asset 2

This is an excerpt from a segment in a black-and-white silent newsreel. Filmed in England, the footage begins with an intertitle, ‘Field Events’, and shows five soldiers competing in the long jump, with other soldiers measuring the lengths of the individual jumps. This is followed by two soldiers competing in the high jump ...


Jack Metcalfe competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games

This is a black-and-white photograph that shows Australian athlete Jack Metcalfe competing in the high jump at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. The photograph was taken as Metcalfe was about to clear the horizontal bar during the qualifying round for the final of the high jump. A section of the crowd and the sports stadium ...


John Landy recalls an act of sportsmanship, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of a former champion runner, John Landy, recalling an incident during the Australian mile championship in Melbourne on 11 March 1956. Landy says that the spikes of his shoes tore the arm of another runner, Australian Ron Clarke, who fell in front of him. He describes stopping to help Clarke, ...


Allied soldiers' athletics carnival, c1918 - asset 1

This is an excerpt from a segment in a black-and-white silent newsreel. Filmed in England, the footage begins with an intertitle, ‘The 100 Yards Championship’, and shows four running races (three of which appear to be heats), one after the other, each with five competitors. The last race is possibly the final as a Canadian ...


The Stawell Gift - Staging the Golden Jubilee Carnival, 1927: The Stawell Gift 130-yard dash

This clip shows silent, black-and-white footage of the semifinal and final of the 130-yard (120-m) sprint at the Stawell Gift's Golden Jubilee carnival in 1927. It shows Stawell's Central Park where the carnival is still held, some of the 30,000 spectators who attended the 1927 event, race officials, two broadcasters from ...


Aerial photograph of the Olympic Stadium, 1956

This is a black-and-white photograph of an aerial view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground in its role as the Olympic Stadium. Taken on 22 November 1956, the photograph shows the huge crowd gathered for the Opening Ceremony with the 'march-in' of the competing teams in progress. It was taken by a Herald and Weekly Times photographer ...


Spiked kangaroo-skin running shoes, 1948

This is a pair of black spiked running shoes manufactured from soft kangaroo skin and black suede by Hope Sweeney, Australia, in 1948. Each shoe features a laced centre front vent, black suede interior, rigid cowhide sole to the toe joint and a narrow softer sole leading to the heel. Six very sharp steel spikes are implanted ...


Cold War games,1999

'Cold War games' is an excerpt from the documentary 'Lies, Spies and Olympics', produced in 1999. 'Lies, Spies and Olympics' studies the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, which have become etched in Australian mythology as a watershed in the nation's sporting, cultural and civic history. But behind the myth is a far more revealing ...


John Landy talks about becoming a world record runner, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former champion runner John Landy recalling how he became a world record holder. He says that in the early 1950s, the possibility of running 1 mile (1.6 km) in under 1 minute was 'a great talking point'. He says Roger Bannister became the first to achieve the goal in May 1954. Landy ...

Interactive resource

John Landy

This is a student resource about John Landy, a great Australian athlete and true sportsman. Three photographs in the slideshow portray him taking the athletes’ oath at the 1956 Olympics, being congratulated after winning an event, and at the Australian Gallery of Sport in 1990. Text on screen describes his athletic achievements, ...



This is an excerpt from a silent black-and-white film made in 1923. It contains seven scenes. The first two scenes show large numbers of spectators crowding around a section of the track as runners turn into the sports ground. The third scene shows the crowded stands. The fourth and fifth scenes show the lead athletes running ...


Start of a girls' race in 1927

This is a photograph of the start of a race for girls at a school sports day at the Acton Sports Ground, Canberra. Eight girls of early secondary school age are lined up to start a running race. Some spectators look on in the background.


Boys' obstacle race in 1927

This is a photograph of a boys' obstacle race at a school sports day at the Acton Sports Ground, Canberra. Six boys are crawling through a ladder-like structure that has been placed across the track.


Fun at the race course at Gundagai in 1920

This is a short excerpt from a documentary about Gundagai's welcome home for the soldiers of Gundagai and surrounding districts returning from the First World War, filmed on Anzac Day in 1920. It begins with the intertitle 'Fun at the Race Course' followed by a wide panning shot of a crowd of children and adults. The next ...


Nipper lifesavers on a Sydney beach, 1987

This is a colour photograph of young girl and boy members of Nippers, a junior lifesaving program conducted by the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia. The children are taking part in a relay on a Sydney beach in 1987.


Sack race, Canberra, 1929

This is a black-and-white photograph of a number of boys taking part in a sack race at York Park, in the Canberra suburb of Barton, on 4 October 1929. The race was part of the annual sports meeting of the Canberra Boys' Grammar School. In the background, a line of boys appear to be waiting for the next race. Also in the ...


Winners - Room to Move, 1985: Fulfilling her father’s dream

This clip shows Carol (Nicole Kidman) arguing with her father (Terence Donovan) over the family dinner table because she does not want to attend an athletics training program. Carol says that she wants to complete homework instead but her father is disappointed and wants to make sure that her athletic talents are not wasted. ...


Pole vault at the 1956 Olympic Games

This is a black-and-white photograph showing a competitor clearing the bar in the pole vault event during the decathlon at the Olympic Games in Melbourne in November 1956. Several officials, who may be judging the event, observe the athlete. Part of the crowded stadium at the Melbourne Cricket Ground can be seen in the ...


Australasian Gazette - Mermaids Swim Well, c1928

This silent black-and-white clip shows highlights of a women's swimming carnival held at the Bondi swimming baths in Sydney in about 1931. It shows footage of various races in which records were 'smashed', including Edna Davey surging ahead in the 'mile championship', the relay race won by the Bondi Club, and Jean Cocks ...

Teacher resource

Yulunga: kangaroo

Imitation activities were a favourite and popular activity for children everywhere. In one activity children would copy the actions of the kangaroo. This is a jumping relay race based on the actions of a kangaroo jumping. The Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games resource was developed to provide all Australians with a ...