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Over the past 40 years sport has gained credibility as a field of academic study. This is evident in the expansion of participant and spectator sport worldwide, supported by an ever-increasing range of sport related programmes offered at colleges and universities and ever-increasing research opportunities.
Until the last decade, scholarly work on the history of sport and leisure in Ireland was most noted by its absence. Historians of modern Ireland almost entirely ignored the importance of sport as a historical phenomenon, preferring to concentrate on matters of church and state.
There are very few books about amateurism. But it is also true that most books about sport in the century before 1960 are about amateurism because it was the idea dominant in the politics and administration of sport. One can no more ignore amateurism in the development of modern sport than one could ignore religion in medieval politics.