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Scotland for Fitness

A film promoting sport and healthy living in 1930s Scotland

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This film was made to promote health and fitness to Scotland and the Empire and was made for screening at the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson. The film includes shots of various sports and healthy activities such as football, stretching, dancing, swimming, hiking, climbing, walking, camping, weight lifting and gym exercises.

Questions & Activities


  • This film was made for showing at the Empire Exhibition of 1938. Why do you think this was and who was it aimed at?
  • Compare the football strips and football stadiums - what do you think is missing?
  • Compare the different exercises and sports undertaken between men and women.
  • Comment on the reasons given for women needing exercise.
  • How many activities are in the clip?
  • Look at the training regime - is it safe by modern standards and how could it be improved?
  • How is Scotland represented in this clip - compare with how Scotland is represented today?
  • How does this film act as Scottish Office propaganda?
  • Is this film designed for the ordinary Scot in 1938?
  • What impact does the music have in this film?
  • How do you think the landscapes in the clip have changed in the past 70 years.


Expressive Arts / Art and Design: Design posters with the slogan 'Keep Fit and Raise the Scottish Standard".

Health and Wellbeing: Investigate the training regime of modern professional footballers.

Health and Wellbeing:: Compare to modern campaigns for fitness in Scotland.

Social Studies / History: Research Scotland's involvement in the early World Cup Internationals.

Literacy / Media Studies / Geography: Using iMovie or Windows Moviemaker create your own tourist board film for your local area.

Expressive Arts / Music: Learn a traditional Scottish song.

Literacy / English: List repeating patterns of language.

Technologies / Literacy: Make a PowerPoint presentation using a range of rhetorical devises used in the film.

Expressive Arts / Music: Select a piece of modern music to dub over parts of the clip.

Literacy / English: Use a freeze frame as inspiration for a story.

Technologies / Media Studies / Art and Design: Use a programme such as Comic Life to import freeze frames to create a comic.

Literacy / Expressive Arts: Act out the presenter and hill walker both in the style of the film and for a modern audience.

Literacy / Expressive Arts: Act out the presenter interviewing gym teacher or footballer.

Geography: Investigate the Countryside Access Code - present your findings in any way you want.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-045-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0231
Date 1938
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Expressive Arts, History, Social Studies, Geography, Art and Design
Subject Matter Literacy, Citizenship, Sport
Who Films of Scotland (sponsor)
Where Edinburgh, Loch Lomond
Event Empire Exhibition
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 10:51
Film Length 10:51
References The Age of Stupid (Film).