The War and Postwar Years (1940-1952)

JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, April 1999 | Go to article overview

The War and Postwar Years (1940-1952)


The accomplishments of six past presidents are highlighted in this, the fourth of nine segments designed to commemorate the NAGWS centennial, 1899-1999. In addition to writing, editing, and publishing guides, the women of this era enthusiastically contributed to the war effort. At a time of scarce resources, including personnel and materials, it was difficult to contribute time and effort both to the NSWA (the National Section on Women's Athletics, which was to become NAGWS) and to the country. The presidents of this era committed themselves "to do everything possible to publicize, promote, educate, and provide leadership for attaining and maintaining the highest standards in athletics for girls and women".

1940-1942 Ruth H. Atwell

Biography: George Washington University.

Accomplishments: Served as chairman on the temporary Emergency Committee of the National Preparedness Program (Schwert Bill, H.R. 10606). This bill called for the "appropriation of funds to assist . . . in making adequate provisions for health education, physical education, and recreation in schools . . ." Assisted with the merger of the Women's Division, National Amateur Athletic Federation with the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. A subcommittee on bowling was approved and appointed. Desirable Practices in Athletics for Girls and Women was published. Miss Atwell and the emergency committee opposed the formation of a National Intercollegiate Athletic Association for Women, and as an alternative proposed to offer their services in directing the policies in any plan for intercollegiate athletics for women. Atwell appointed the NSWA Defense Program Steering Committee, which worked with the office of Inter-American Affairs to create and distribute some publications and films in Spanish. Atwell served as special assistant in charge of women's activities on the National Sports Board. The Officials Rating Committee continued their expansion program by promoting more officials rating boards.

1942-1943 Alice Schriver

Biography: Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

Accomplishments: Schriver continued the publicity effort by sending letters to all state directors of physical fitness explaining the purpose of NSWA. She also assisted in the expansion of women's sports programs, sending out 2,000 copies of Desirable Practices and other free materials to be distributed at all conferences, and sending letters to all presidents of state associations. Due to the war, Miss Schriver dealt with a loss of personnel and with a reduction of resources for publishing the guides. A war-time policy was drafted and circulated in the name of the NSWA.

1943-1946 Anna S. Espenschade

Biography University of California, Berkeley.

Accomplishments:. "Old guides" are donated to schools that cannot afford to buy them. New softball, volleyball, and aquatics guides that included technique charts went into circulation. …

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