Australia has a rich and proud, and at times controversial, sporting history. The captain of the Australian Cricket Team was once said to be the second-most important person in the country (behind only the Prime Minister).
In their next Learning Program webinar, the National Library of Australia will be taking a closer look at some of our Aussie Sports Heroes and our changing visions of the ideal sporting hero.
Using the extensive records available in the Library’s electronic resources, the webinar begins with Sir Donald Bradman, the personification of the iconic Australian sporting hero, and will then turn to examine the actions of three more recent cricketers that left Australian audiences stumped.
Enter Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who, with a piece of sandpaper, made international headlines for ball-tampering. By following the media coverage available to view online in NewsBank, a platform featuring current and historical full-text newspapers from over 172 countries, you can witness an arc of redemption and see how the players have gone about reinventing themselves.
National Library of Australia Manager of Offsite Reader Services and presenter of the webinar, Rachel Pryor said, “We’re looking at the relationship between our sporting heroes and the Australian dream, and what happens when they do or don’t meet”.
“Sport is very popular in Australia and so are our sports stars but their popularity also gives them the platform to discuss important societal issues. This webinar is not so much a celebration of Aussie sporting heroes as much as it is about demonstrating how our eResources can be used to understand and research social and cultural history,” Ms Pryor said.
A part of the social history that is explored in the webinar is racism in sport, and the contribution that Adam Goodes has made to overcome this issue.
“In the hour we have, we’re just scratching the surface of the kind of information that can be found through our online platforms, and when it comes to our exploration of Adam Goodes, we can see that his influence extends beyond what is covered in the media.”
Women’s participation in sport, and how female sporting stars are portrayed in the media is also under the spotlight, including the image of Tayla Harris’s kick. Using the Library’s press reader, newspaper and magazine resources, these portrayals and issues such as the gender pay gap are explored.
While examining the on- and off-field media coverage these sporting talents have generated, the webinar also showcases the depth of the Library’s research platforms.
“The information available through our online resources is not limited to information about sporting icons, but can inform an immeasurable number of research projects,” Ms Pryor said.
“Part of the webinar will consist of a demonstration in how to use these platforms, so you can easily access the information you are looking for, whatever your subject matter.”
To access NewsBank and many of the Library’s eResources, you will need to use your National Library of Australia Library Card. Need a Library card? Register online.