Spreading the Word

In the 1950s, ESAA and their sponsors, the News Chronicle newspaper, wanted to provide opportunities for all competitors to improve their performance.  They produced three films, introduced by the national coach Geoff Dyson, on sprinting and hurdling, high jump, and throwing the javelin. 

ESAA 1956 poster
Image credit: Mike Fleet

More people had televisions because 2.5 million people had bought them to watch the Queen’s coronation in 1953.  The cinema was a cheap and popular pastime.  The ESAA films were shown during the BBC’s daily schedule of programmes for children and were also available for cinemas to buy and show the films in the UK and internationally.  In this way, athletes competing at school, district, county and national level had access to advice direct from the national coach.

Image credit: Peter Radford