The radicality and cultural significance of the sweats in Trinidad and Tobago

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The sweat, meaning to sweat, is a moniker attached to prearranged but unorganised and informal sport and physical activity within local communities in Trinidad and Tobago. Explained as a culturally significant phenomenon, the sweat is a space of community cohesion and radical questioning through its resident attendant ole talk where the critical deconstruction of social reality readily occurs. Using Paolo Freire’s pedagogical ideas of problem-posing dialogue, this ethnographic paper, explores three main areas. Those being, the sweats and ole talk; the radicality of the sweats displayed in individual agency against the structured restrictions of formal sports participation; and the sweats as a site for cross-cultural integration and interaction in an otherwise ethnically diverse country. Through the experiences of eight individuals associated to the sweats, Freirean ideas of love, radicality and hopefulness are prominent in the description of the sweats. To this end, this paper adds to the growing body of literature on informal sport participation as a site to negotiate and reconcile differences in local communities, as well as a site for social and sport-for-development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Studies
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2023

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