Who can be involved?
Sporting heritage projects generally have a strong focus on communities. They often centre on local people, places and events, or the links between an area and wider sporting history. They pick up on the interests of a huge range of people, and offer lots of opportunities to involve the community in delivering activities.
Many projects, for example, have trained volunteers to undertake oral history interviews and record the history of clubs. Lots of supporters themselves have also shared their memories and memorabilia. For example, ‘From Coal to Goal’ brought different generations in Rotherham’s old mining communities together to look at the link between work and leisure. It captured people’s experiences from the 1940s and 50s, interviewing players and fans from Rotherham United Football Club, as well as miners.
Lots of projects have engaged young people in sporting history. Young people helped to record the development of surfing in Britain through an oral history project with Porthtowan Surf Life Saving Club.
Sporting heritage has also been the basis for intergenerational activity. The National Youth Theatre involved a cast of over 50 young and older participants in ‘White City Black Country’. Based at the Black Country Living Museum, they worked with heritage experts and local Olympians to research and create a production about the role of the West Midlands in the 1908 and 1948 London Olympic Games.