But Gulick didn’t make his request simply for the sake of physical education. He was also an ideological extension of George Williams, who founded the YMCA in London in 1844 — to evangelize, not for exercise.
Williams initially viewed sports as a distraction from religious study. But as secular pursuits in the industrializing world started drawing young men’s interest away from Christian teachings, Williams’s YMCA began using sports to keep young men from going astray — in other words, to force them to conform to the norms of Christian society.
We are witnessing something similar now