The Contribution of Arthur Gotlib to the Institution of Physical Education in Russia in the Beginning of the 20th Century

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Beljukov D.A.,

Velikie Luki, Russian Federation

The Contribution of Arthur Gotlib to the Institution of Physical Education in Russia in the Beginning of the 20th Century


The article examines Arthur Gotlib’s efforts to set up physical education in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. Arthur Gotlib, whose name is regrettably forgotten, was one of the theorists and experts in the field of physical education. In 1909 he published a brochure “Sokol System Physical Education at High School”, that summed up three years of experience of managing a Sokol club (70-80 members) in a Yalta grammar school. The brochure and its illustrations picked up an award at the Russian-Swedish Exhibition of Physical Development and Sports in Petersburg in 1909. At the same time A.Gotlib published an article “The Russian-Swedish Exhibition of Physical Development and Sports” in the magazine of the Ministry of national education. Besides the general information on the event, the author touched upon the question of advantages and disadvantages of various gymnastic systems. In 1912 A. Gotlib delivered a report “Physical Education at High School” at the congress of the schoolmasters of the St.-Petersburg educational district. The author mentioned sports, gymnastics, drill and various actions which were necessary for the correct organization of physical training in educational institutions. The theses of the report were printed in the congress books. As a schoolmaster in a Pskov grammar school for boys, he set up exemplary framework for the physical education of the students and instigated the foundation of two sport societies: Pskov Gymnastic Society “Sokol” and Pskov Society for Facilitation of the Physical Education of the Studying Youth. During World War I he was in charge of the Pskov Military Sports Committee which successfully carried out the preliminary military training of the population. The Activity of Pskov military-sports committee found recognition of the higher authorities. The committee received a Gratitude “for tireless and fruitful work” from the Minister of Sports of the Russian Empire V.N. Voejkov. Four members were awarded breast medals “For excellent performance of general mobilization”, and A.G. Gotlib was one of them. On January 16th, 1917 emperor Nikolas II conferred to Arthur Gotlib the rank of actual state councillor “for his services in the field of physical education of students”.


Arthur Gotlib, physical education, Pskov grammar school for boys, Pskov Gymnastic Society “Sokol”, for Facilitation of the Physical Education of the Studying Youth, Pskov Military Sports Committee, preliminary military training.

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About the author

Belyukov Dmitry Anatolievich, PhD in history, associate professor, Dean of the Humanities faculty of the Velikie Luki State Academy of Physical Education and Sports, Velikie Luki, Russian Federation, 8-911-354-20-82, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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