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Can Sports Regenerate the Human Race?
It has been frequently assumed that participation in sport, if it became more general, would preserve the human race from physical degeneration; but in recent examinations of draftees, those who were in the habit of engaging in sport activities were not found to be better built or more robust than the others. On the contrary, a large proportion of the devotees of sport were assigned to the deferred class, on account of poor physical development or disturbed heart action. It would seem, therefore, that we have greatly deceived ourselves, when, reacting against the gymnastics of the school and the army, we have maintained that sport and athletics would provide adequate physical training for children and adolescents. Dr. Ruffier, who has for many years studied the problems of physical education, analyzes the causes of this deception. What gives, he says, a special character to the
PARIS. JAMA. 1923;80(12):862–863. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640390050023
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