Letter, 13.7.1925, from Harald Liljedahl
Object reference: RA 318B11
Sender/ Author: Harald Liljedahl
Recipient: Roald Amundsen
Hr. Roald Amundsen
I tried a few days ago in vain to reach you by telephone. My inquiry concerned the Arbeidernes Idrettsforbund [Workers’ Sports Federation], and since the Federation is so new that you may not know much about it, I will allow myself to provide some information.
The Arbeidernes Idrettsforbund [Workers’ Sports Federation] was founded at Whitsuntide last year. It now has just over 12,000 members and is growing very rapidly. It is a fairly common assumption that the Federation is shaped by partisan politics. This is not the case. The Federation’s task is to draw the working youth into healthy sports, because the workers, and above all the industrial workers, need sport more than does any other class of society.
Experience both at home and abroad shows that the ordinary sports associations are not up to this task. The workers do not feel sufficiently at home or secure enough, and the psychology that their living conditions create is not sufficiently well understood by the management. So we have to create a workers’ sports movement if we are to get the mass of workers involved.
We have great difficulties to contend with in our work, and must take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to awaken the working youth to an understanding of the great value that sport offers them.
We are able to look after the regular organizational work, but we lack most of all the stimulus that things with an air of glamour and romance create.
For Christmas, we will publish a large sports booklet. It is intended that it will become something of a masterwork, and that it will be distributed around the workers’ homes of Norway. We would like you to promise us an article for this booklet, in which you talk about the importance of sport for young people. The article need not be long, and it is not necessary that we receive it before the end of October. But your pledge to provide it we would like to have now, because it would be a help to us during the preparatory work on the booklet.
I am aware that the request I am sending, now, while your time is of course heavily occupied in many ways, is presumptious, but we have such a battle to advance our work that we have to be assertive, if we are to achieve our mission. We think you will understand that, and we are sure that you have sympathy with our work, and so we also hope to receive a reply from you.
Harald Liljedahl [by hand]
Kristian August gt. 5
Do what I can