February Newsletter

Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2020! Coming up:

  • Arts Council England publish new 10-year strategy
  • Our new three-year Sport England funded project
  • Scottish Sporting Heritage Network Consortium
  • Specialist Panel for Sporting Heritage in Wales
  • The Sport Specific Museums Network
  • Northern Ireland Sporting Heritage Network
  • Sporting Heritage and the Armed Forces Showcase
  • A Field of Dreams: Women’s Football Conference 2020
  • Sporting Heritage Conference 2020

Arts Council England (ACE) Publish New 10-Year Strategy

The long awaited ACE strategy has now been published on their website at the link below. Although this is a welcome shift in approach to ensure that collections are considered in term of their wider output opportunities, for example how they respond to the well-being agenda, there is little detail outlined which leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Time will tell if the strategy and its subsequent delivery models are fit for purpose and provide heritage, and sporting heritage within it, with the necessary context for funding and support over the coming decade.  You can read the strategy at: www.artscouncil.org.uk/our-organisation/our-previous-strategy-2010-20.

Sporting Heritage Begin New
3-Year Sport England Funded Project

Over the next three years, Sporting Heritage will be delivering a project across England with an aim of better understanding, supporting and sharing sporting collections. With a focus on women’s sport and disability sport, the project will work primarily with small to medium sized National Governing Bodies of sport to scope collections, develop a tool-kit for all those working with a sporting collection, produce an e-learning sporting heritage accreditation module, deliver digital touring exhibitions, and deliver training and support. As part of the project, we now have a number of new members in our delivery team:

Claire Dixon

Claire Dixon is  our Campaign Lead manager working on #NSHD2020. Held on the 30th September every year, National Sporting Heritage Day is an ongoing campaign and provides a focus point for sporting heritage in the UK. Raising awareness of the relevance of sporting heritage, the campaign promotes sporting heritage at the heart of the community and community at the heart of sporting heritage.

The celebration uses a combination of arts, crafts, science, tech, digital, heritage and sport activities, led by local people sharing passion and skills, as a catalyst for community-led transformation, with active participation for all ages.

Key city venues of culture with professional events and our Ambassador Programme also support the campaign allowing greater links between individuals and organisations, encouraging large venues to co-create with local people, and small groups to realise their heritage value as grassroots champions. Importantly the day is used to inspire children and families to be a part of sport civilisation helping to develop a more inclusive sporting heritage culture.

Be a part, get involved: Share your heritage with everyone: National Sporting Heritage Day 2020: #NSHD2020

Julia Lee and Brigid Power

Julia Lee has worked in the sport sector for over twenty years. She was the Rugby Football League Director of Development and Chair of the NGB forum. Presently, she is a member of Sport and Recreation Alliance in the Sports and Games Division. Julia has a particular interest in women’s sport and discovering their hidden histories. She has run several sporting heritage projects which have given a voice to often unheard women in sport, as well as highlighted important collections.

Brigid Power has worked in museums for 15 years, with the last five being in the sporting heritage sector, largely with Rugby League collections. She is currently undertaking a PhD which looks at how engaging with sporting heritage has an impact on social inclusion among individuals and communities. This ties in well with her work at Rugby League Cares, a charitable organisation who is driving the development of a National Rugby League Museum.

Their role together in this project is scoping and mapping the collections of National Governing Bodies and their affiliate organisations. They want to provide a clear picture of what collections lie where, what they consist of and how they can potentially be looked after better. Although not exclusively, they are especially interested in finding those collections which relate to women’s and disability sport. They are keen to find Heritage Ambassadors in organisations who are part of the project.

Katie Cavanagh 

Katie has worked in museums in a collections management and exhibition role since 1996.  Her role in the Sport England project being delivered by Sporting Heritage is Resilient Lead.  This means she is responsible for producing and delivering a digital toolkit aimed at helping organisations to look after the sporting collections they have and safeguard them for future generations.
Katie will also be creating an e-learning module which runs alongside the digital toolkit and enables organisations to learn how to care for and develop their collections and also how to use them effectively for research and enjoyment.

She will be doing a series of workshops to introduce the digital toolkit to organisations who would like to improve their understanding of their collections in this way and to provide advice and support to help build a strong sporting heritage.

Scottish Sporting Heritage Network Consortium 

The Scottish consortium is going from strength to strength. The aim of the network is to ensure that the right support and advocacy is in place to protect, preserve, and provide access to the amazing sporting heritage of Scotland. The next meeting will take place at the Jim Clarke Museum on the 10th June. Anyone wishing to attend who isn’t already part of the group is welcome. Please email justine@sportingheritage.org.uk to join the network. 

A Specialist Panel for Sporting Heritage Wales 

Over the last three months, Sporting Heritage have been working with the Welsh Government to establish a specialist panel for Sporting Heritage in Wales. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be getting in touch with a range of organisations to invite them to participate in the first panel meeting at the end of March in Cardiff. The activity is funded via the Welsh Government and will develop a National Framework for Sporting Heritage in Wales. We’ll keep the sector updated on development and progress made by the panel through this newsletter and on our website.

As well as the development of the panel, we also wish to ensure the development of a wider network of stakeholders from Wales to establish an e-distribution group for sharing information and informing the National Framework and to ensure support is made available in the short, medium and long-term across the sector. To join the e-distribution list, please email justine@sportingheritage.org.uk.

The Sport Specific Museums Network 

Sporting Heritage has created a network specifically for those museums which concentrate only on, or mainly on, sporting collections. The challenges faced by these museums are often unique, and the network provides an opportunity for organisations to work together, share expertise, and support cross-network activity. Any organisations not part of this network, but who wish to join, should contact justine@sportingheritage.org.uk.

Northern Ireland Sporting Heritage Network

Our NI network is embryonic, and we are in the process of developing key contacts and supporting organisations. We’d love to hear from as many organisations and individuals as possible who would like to take part in this growing network. If you would like to join the network, please contact justine@sportingheritage.org.uk.

Booking now open!

Sporting Heritage and The Armed Forces Showcase
Thursday 2 April, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Heritage Quay, Huddersfield

Come and join us for our packed end of project showcase. Through the Sporting Heritage & Armed Forces project,  AMOT and Sporting Heritage have built on their existing partnership to develop a greater understanding of the relationship between sport and the armed forces in the UK.

Those involved in the project have worked to preserve, protect and provide access to heritage related to sport and the armed forces. By working together these collections have been opened up to new and different audiences. At this event you can:

  • Hear about the different project strands from our speakers
  • Share your experiences and shape future project activity in our workshops
  • Pick up top tips from our experts in our lunchtime surgeries
  • Make connections with new suppliers with our exhibitors
  • Network with colleagues across the sector
For further information and to book your place visit:  bit.ly/SportingHeritageShowcase.

A Field of Dreams: Women’s Football 2020
27-28 May 2020, Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire Dick, Kerr Ladies TM Centre for Women’s Football Studies would like to invite individuals with interest in Women’s Football to our first conference.

The purpose of the conference is to connect the past to the present and provide a platform for shaping the future. The conference will be of interest to anyone involved in the playing, coaching, and organisation of the women’s game, as well as those exploring the history of Women’s Football. We will be placing a strong emphasis on the engagement and development of young people, who will be invited to share their ideas and experiences.

All proceeds from this conference will go to the UCLan Dick, Kerr Ladies TM Centre for Women’s Football Studies to focus research on inclusion.  It will help fund junior researchers, who face financial restrictions, in contributing valuable insights into barriers faced within the women’s game.

Call for Papers – deadline 2 March
We are also seeking papers, workshops and posters around several themes, and select papers and workshop evaluations will be published in a special edition of the peer reviewed Routledge Journal, Soccer in Society. For further information on academic papers, posters and workshops, please contact Professor John Hughson at JEHughson@uclan.ac.uk or Professor Ali Melling at amelling@uclan.ac.uk.

Find out more and book a place at:

For any general queries, please email Kat Huskisson on KHuskisson1@uclan.ac.uk or call on 01772 893662.

Sporting Heritage Conference 2020 – Stirling

Don’t forget to save the date for this year’s Sporting Heritage conference taking place in Stirling on the 22nd and 23rd October 2020. Call for papers and presentations will be announced in March and booking will open in the Spring. For further information please visit our website at

Sporting Heritage Membership

We are currently in the process of developing our membership offer. We’ve been asking you what you need from our membership and the final package will be available in the coming months. Drawing from our consultation with the sector, the offer will include discounted events and training, access to a sporting heritage specific funding search database, access to a list of preferred suppliers, and discounts on a number of other options. Watch this space!

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