Martina Sofia Helena Bergman-Österberg (née Bergman; 7 October 1849 – 29 July 1915) was a Swedish physical education instructor and women’s suffrage advocate. After studying Swedish gymnastics in Stockholm she moved to London, where she founded the first physical education instructor’s college in England, in which she admitted women only. Bergman-Österberg pioneered teaching physical education as a full subject within the English school curriculum, with Swedish-style gymnastics at its core. She also advocated the use of gymslips by women playing sports, and played a pivotal role in the early development of netball. Bergman-Österberg was an advocate of women’s emancipation, directly encouraging women to be active in sport and education, and also donating money to women’s emancipation organisations in her native Sweden. Several of her students founded the Ling Association, which later became the Physical Education Association of the United Kingdom. (From Wikipedia)
In order to honour Madame Bergman Österberg’s memory, the BÖU Committee has planned a celebration of her life and work. The usual BÖU Reunion day will be extended to the whole of the first weekend in September 2015. The activities during both days will be held at North West Kent College, Oakfield Lane, Dartford.
The Celebratory Dinner will be held on Saturday evening at the Daniel Defoe Campus of the University of Greenwich.
Outline of the weekend
Saturday 5th September 2015
“The Legacy of Madame Bergman Österberg”
A study day at North West Kent College
9.30 – 9.50 Arrival and Refreshments
9.50-10.00 Welcome and Introduction Dr. Jackie Farr & Dr. Jo Harris
10.00-11.00 Professor Jennifer Hargreaves Remembering the Past: Personal and Public Influences on a Life in Sport, Physical Education and Physical Culture.
11.00-11.30 Break and Networking
11.30-12.00 Dr.Birgitta Wistrand Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden Martina Bergman Österberg: Who Was She?
12.00-12.45 Professor Sakuko Ishizaki, Principal, JWCPE The History of Japan Women’s College of PE: What Tokuyo Nikaido Brought Back from Madame Österberg.
12.45-14.00 Lunch and time to visit the BÖU Archive
14.00-14.30 Seminar Choices
One: Madame Österberg, the Closet Suffragette? Peter Boreham, Vice-President, BÖU
Two: Development of Netball from Early Beginnings at Dartford to the Present Day. Joan Mills, Honorary Life Member, England Netball
14.30-15.15 Discussion: The Impact of Madame and Dartford on Personal/Professional Lives
15.15-15.30 Plenary and Conclusion Dr. Jackie Farr and Dr. Jo Harris
The Celebratory Dinner at the University of Greenwich
Guest Speaker: Miss Gill Aitkenhead MBE DL, Her Majesty the Queen’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of the County of Dunbartonshire Dartford 1969 – 1972
Sunday 6th September 2015
AGM and Reunion
2.15 BÖU PE Award presentation
2.30 Time to visit the Archive and for conversation
3.45 Re-dedication of Memorial Stone
4.00 Tea and Centenary Celebration Cake