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Defining Heroism

"Heroism is doing something of

outstanding benefit to one's society
that most would find impossible to
perform," says Hobbs, who is
researching a book on heroism,
courage, fame, and the role of sports
in creating heroes”. Angie Hobbs,
PhD, professor of philosophy at the
University of Warwick in England.
Defining Heroism
• Throughout history, Hobbs says heroes
emerged from war and gained their title of hero
by sacrificing themselves or risking their lives
to save others. But sports allow heroes to
emerge in times of peace.
• However, in order to be truly heroic, she says
athletes have to do more than just show
physical prowess on the playing field.
• "Only if you have those two components
together -- that your society thinks you're doing
something of outstanding benefit, plus what
you're doing is something most people couldn't
offer either through mental ability, physical
skill, or quality of character-- then you've got
Defining heroism
• In addition, Hobbs says many of the
athletic traits revered most in sports
heroes such as speed, strength, and
endurance were traits that were
necessary for success in battle and
found in traditional wartime heroes.
• An example of a sports hero who fits
that bill in her mind is Jesse Owens.
Owens displayed not only great
physical strength and endurance, but
also mental determination and courage
in defiantly winning four medals before
Why Do We Need
• Psychologists say people grow up
with a need for heroes, and the
media constantly pumps up and
publicizes candidates for the
choosing. But whom someone looks
to as a hero has more to do with
their own needs than the
accomplishments of the hero.
Why Do We Need
• Thinking back to our pre test for this
unit and the question where you were
asked to write down the first name
that came to mind when you thought
of the word Hero

Have a go at making a list

of things that you like best
about your chosen hero.
• "There is no universal hero," says
sports psychologist Richard
Lustberg, PhD. "Subjectively, the
hero is created within you. Heroes
are created as a great way to
escape from whatever you need
to escape from, and they can
supply for you whatever you
Why do we need heroes

• Experts say the number of sports

heroes has also increased in recent
years due to psychological factors.
• "More and more people are growing up
without fathers in the home, so
increasingly they turn to other figures --
particularly sports figures -- as a father
replacement and as a hero they can
identify with, especially in absence of a
father figure," says sports psychologist
Stanley Teitelbaum, PhD.
Why do we need heroes

• "Second, whether we grow up in a one-

or two-parent family, we start out with
an ideal attachment to our parents,
and ultimately along the way they fail
us in some way and we experience
some disappointment in them,"
Teitelbaum tells WebMD. "As adults
when we find heroes, it's a way of
trying to recapture that earlier time
when we had this exquisite connection
Why do we need heroes
• Lets take a look back at a couple of
cartoon characters that depict heroism
that might have been shown on T.V
when you where young.
• Roger Ramjet
• Homer and Bart Simpson
After watching these clips take a look back at
your list of desirable attributes for your hero
and tick off those that appear in the story line
of these dvd clips.
Why do we need

Now add to that list any

attributes that you noted in
the hero actions from the dvd
clips and think are worthy of
inclusion on your list.
Then compare your list with
your neighbour.
Let’s look at
some heroes
closer to

Corporal Willie Apiata -
War Hero • “I was doing what I am trained for”
A Humble Hero - • It was just after 3am when the blast of
CPL Willie Apiata the enemy rocket propelled grenades
VC and machines gun fire ripped into the
inky darkness of an Afghanistan hillside.
• With his upper right arm shredded by
shrapnel, and bleeding profusely, the
young SAS soldier lapsed in and out of
consciousness. He and his mates,
including Willie Apiata, were caught in
crossfire in the undulating starkness of
the surrounding countryside.
• Apiata, unhurt but stunned, was jolted
off his vehicle. His critically injured
mate at first told Apiata he could make
the 70 metre run back to the safety of
the main Kiwi group and to the medical
assistance he so desperately needed.
The men were no longer in darkness
however. One of their vehicles was
immobilised, and the other was on fire,
illuminating the only pathway the men
had to safety.
• As his mate lapsed into unconsciousness
A Humble Hero and machine gun fire crackled around
- CPL Willie him, Apiata made a decision. Fully
exposed in the glare of battle to heavy
Apiata VC enemy fire and into the face of returning
fire from the main troop position, he
heaved the injured man onto his back and
carried him uphill back to his base. That
he was not injured, nor his mate further
injured, remains one of life’s mysteries.
• There was, in the words of an eyewitness.
“a shitload of stuff coming towards them -
rocket propelled grenades, machinegun
fire, small arms fire. There were
explosions everywhere, and they were
caught in the middle – how they got
through we will never know.”
• With the injured man out of further harm’s
way, Apiata rearmed himself and returned
to join the skirmish. The troop could now
concentrate entirely on winning the fire
fight. After an engagement lasting about
twenty minutes, the assault was broken
up and the attackers - there were more
than 20 of them, and about 12 New
Zealanders - were routed with significant
War Hero
• A decorated fighter
Sir Keith pilot in World War
Park One, Sir Keith Park
was Commander of
the RAF during the
Allied evacuation
from Dunkirk
(France) in the early
part of World War
Two, and in charge
of defending
London and
southern England
Sir Keith
• "If any one man won the
Battle of Britain, he did.
I do not believe it is
realised how much that
one man, with his
leadership, his calm
judgement and his skill,
did to save, not only this
country, but the world."
Lord Tedder – Chief of
the Royal Air Force,
February 1947.
Susan Devoy is one of New Zealand's
Sports most successful sporting champions
ever. For nine years Susan was almost
Hero unbeatable on the world squash courts.
Dame Susan
Former New Zealand squash player, Dame
Susan Devoy, was ranked Number One in the
world continuously from 1983 until her
retirement in October 1992, when she
achieved her fourth World Women's Squash
Championship. She has, remarkably, won the
British Open Squash Championship eight
times, the last in April 1992 when she was
delighted to regain that title having lost it the
previous year.
Susan was named New Zealand
Sportswoman of the Year in 1985, 1987 and
1988. A Member of the British Empire and
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of
the British Empire for her achievements in
squash, in 1998 Susan became a Dame
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Sports Born May 12, 1975) is a New Zealand
Hero rugby union footballer. He had sixty-
Jonah Tali three caps as an All Black after
Lomu, debuting in 1994. He is generally
regarded as the first true global
superstar of rugby union. One of the
sport's most intimidating players on
the field,[1] he has had a huge impact
on the game.[2] He was inducted to
the International Rugby Hall of Fame
on 9 October 2007.[3]
Lomu burst onto the international
rugby scene during the 1995 World
Cup in South Africa. At one time
Lomu was considered 'rugby union's
biggest drawcard',[4] swelling
attendances at any match where he
National organiser of Halt All
Political Racist Tours (HART)
Hero 'I think the most important impact of
the tour in New Zealand was to
stimulate the whole debate about
Minto racism and about the place of Maori in
our community.
'In South Africa the tour helped to
bring, I think, a quicker end to the
apartheid regime, along with all the
other pressures from all around the
'The huge disappointment for me,
though, is the fact that while black
South Africans have gained political
rights in South Africa, their economic
positions, their social position is in
many cases worse than it was than
Political • Hone Heke and his
Hero men first chopped
Hone Heke:
down the flagpole that
stood on the hill behind
Russell (Kororareka) in
July 1844. It was
repaired but Heke cut
it down a further 2
times before the
government set up a
guard post to protect
the flagpole. On March
10 1845, Heke first
attacked and killed the
Time to Research
• What you need to do
2.Find two people you consider heroes
from each of the three categories we
have looked at so far:
Draw up a table like this to write
your research result into.
This is a homework task.
Hero Achievement Impact on the

Related Interests