During a UK Sporting Heritage Summit taking place at CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, Cardiff today, Deputy Minister for Culture Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, announced the creation of an expert panel for Wales to establish a national vision for sports heritage - a first for the UK.

First published:
23 October 2019
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Sporting Heritage will coordinate a panel for Wales to develop a joined up approach to its sporting heritage.

The panel will build on the already excellent partnerships between Wales’ local and national museums and will provide a forum for those involved in creating and safeguarding sports heritage to work together.

The establishment of the panel follows recommendations made in the feasibility study - ‘Celebrating Our Sporting Heritage’ published last year.

In addressing the summit, the Deputy Minister, said:

“Every sport leaves a legacy of memories and memorabilia to tell its stories of success long after the feats of their owners have faded from popular memory. However, this legacy is spread between private collectors, community and regional clubs, and public and private museums. Cherished, but often vulnerable, items are given different degrees of care – from carefully managed museum stores to boxes under collector’s beds.

“The feasibility study recognised that there is no single answer to these varying levels of accessibility and preservation. Ensuring the continued survival of this memorabilia and presenting it in interesting and meaningful ways presents an extraordinary challenge. Without any kind of national framework for policies, standards, guidance or collecting models there is a risk that many key artefacts could be lost to future generations. I’m therefore delighted that we can now work with Sporting Heritage and partners to secure a future of our Sporting Heritage.

Justine Reilly, Sporting Heritage, said:

“Sport and sports clubs are central to many of our communities and are embedded within the stories of political, economic, and social development. These stories are inspirational and thought-provoking in their content and context. However, the heritage of sport – the objects, archives, and oral histories which bring sporting heritage to life and allow these stories to be shared – are all too often at risk.

“Sporting Heritage works across the UK as the Subject Specialist Network for sport. Our aim is to provide a strategic approach to sporting heritage which removes collections from risk and empowers organisations, communities and individuals to celebrate and share their stories. We are thrilled to be able to draw together a specialist panel in Wales and create a joined-up approach for sporting heritage across the nation.

The full two-day programme addresses how sporting heritage can become more resilient and ensure collections are resilient; looks at the impact of sporting heritage on community cohesion includes local examples such as preserving Cardiff’s Rugby History and features speakers from Football Memories Scotland and the Sottish National Football Museum as well as speakers from British National Yachting Archive. Delegates also had a behind the scenes tour  of Glamorgan County Cricket Club’s headquarters.