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2009 | 7 | 93-106

Article title

POLAND'S INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CONTACTS IN THE YEARS 1946-1949 (Miedzynarodowe kontakty sportowe Polski w latach 1946-1949)


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Founding of the State Office of Physical Education and Military Defence (Panstwowy Urzad Wychowania Fizycznego i Przysposobienia Wojskowego - PUWF i PW) in 1946 terminated the period of 'spontaneous' activity of sports enthusiasts. The PUWF i PW was subordinated to the Ministry of National Defence (Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej), which assured the government's control over the office's activities. The next reorganization of physical education was conducted in the period of domination of the Polish Workers' Party (PPR). Consequently, in February 1948 the Main Office of Physical Culture (Główny Urząd Kultury Fizycznej) was established. This change led to the centralization of sports structures. It also forecast ideological offensive in this field. The takeover of control by the authorities meant restrictions imposed on the sports movement. Thus, the question of principles governing establishing by Poland international sports relations was to be answered. Until the second half of 1948 the authorities had not restricted contacts with capitalist countries in any significant way. Goals which the authorities aimed at through sport overlapped with the goals of sports activists. Both sides benefited from successful performance of Polish sportsmen in foreign stadiums. It is hard to resist the impression that in the years 1946-1948 sports partners were chosen mainly, although not exclusively, with the view of predicted sports benefits and financial capability of the Polish side. The year 1948 seemed to be groundbreaking for the geography of sports contacts. The Soviet- Yugoslav political and ideological conflict caused a change in the Polish policy concerning foreign adversaries for Polish sportsmen. Up till then, whenever possible, Poland had maintained numerous sports contacts with sportsmen from both the people's democracy and capitalist countries. From the second half of 1948 principles regulating the choice of sports adversaries for Poles were significantly changed. They consisted in a cautious selection and putting limits to sports contacts with countries from outside the communist block. Since the time when the PUWF i PW was founded, persons chosen to go abroad were controlled both before and during their stays in other countries. In the following years, and especially in the period of Stalinization of sport, the system of control of persons going abroad and of the regulation of sports contacts was even more tightened and improved.







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  • Artur Pasko, Bialystok, Poland, for postal address contact the journal editor


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Publication order reference


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