Walla Walla Press, in keeping with its mission to publish original research in sports history, has introduced a series of Sports History Dissertations to make small print runs of outstanding doctoral theses available to a wider audience.
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Through Thick and Thin: The South Sydney Rabbitohs and their Community
Veteran rugby league administrator Samuel George Ball was certain that South Sydney supporters were the staunchest in the League. He noted in 1931 that they followed their club 'through thick and thin'.
Through Thick and Thin explores the links between the club and its supporters and the meanings of sport in South Sydney in that the Rabbitohs represented the pinnacle of a vibrant sporting culture in this district.
Sculling and Skulduggery: A History of Professional Sculling
After Edward Trickett won the inaugural sculling world championship on the Thames in 1876 Australians dominated this sport for 61 years. Professional sculling attracted enormous crowds and inspired massive betting. Sculling and Skulduggery provides a comprehensive study of a sport that helped put Australia at the forefront. It examines the sport's meaning for Australian society.
Soccer Boom: The Transformation of Victorian Soccer Culture 1945-1963
John Kallinikios challenges previous interpretations of the soccer boom in post-war Australia. He argues persuasively that historians have overplayed the ethnic factor and underplayed a significant advance of the code from an amateur participant-based sport to a more commercial and professional mass-spectator sport and that the tensions that shaped the code during this period were not necessarily linked to ethnicity.
Sydney's Pony Racecourses: An Alternative Racing History
Contrary to the name of the sport, most pony races were contested by fully-grown thoroughbreds. It has been suggested that pony racing appealed to desperate, the 'needy and greedy' elements of the working class only. Sydney's Pony Racecourses demonstrates that such assertions are without basis. The sport was one of the country's biggest industries with the prize money for its cup-races matching the Cox Plate.