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The cultural transfer and the diffusion of physical education and sport in Europe, 1918-1945: the Anglo-German case

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Sport trends in interwar Europe

A study of the cultural transfer and diffusion of physical education and sport in Europe highlights the British and German cases in the interwar period.

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During the interwar period in Europe, governments implemented actions that politicised sport and physical education. This ranged from a formal incorporation of sports associations in Germany to informal ideology in the United Kingdom. Both countries had developed their national model of physical culture for over a century. To date, there was only a partial explanation of the pattern of European sport in terms of influences. Therefore, the EU-funded CTDPES (The cultural transfer and the diffusion of physical education and sport in Europe, 1918-1945: The Anglo-German case) project looked specifically at the mutual trends in sport and physical education. Two areas were examined regarding the reciprocal influences. One was the policies for individual and competitive sport and the other was on policies for the masses. How place and evolution of German and English sport and education influenced Anglo-German sporting relations was also studied. Knowledge from various disciplines was used, including political science, sociology and modern languages. Results indicate that there was a close collaboration between German and British sportspeople and leaders. The British had previously influenced a large number of people across the world; however, in the interwar period the tendency was shown to be reversed. Dissemination will take place in the form of articles and conferences. Project results have opened up new areas of research.


Sport, cultural transfer, physical education, interwar period, physical culture

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