Protecting the sporting heritage of Wales - Russell Todd

Sport has always been important to Wales as a nation: from the ancient game of cnapan, to modern rugby and football; from boxing to cycling, athletics to swimming. Our country has produced an impressive array of exceptional sports people and we punch well above our weight in international competition across the board, including in disability sport in which Wales has long been a pioneer.

Sport in Wales touches every parish, village and town, bringing people together, improving health and driving personal development, providing opportunities for life-long friendships and generating good natured rivalry.

Old photo collage, focus on ladies football match

‘Lady footballers’ in Newport in 1895 / ‘Pêl-droedwyr boneddiges’ yng Nghasnewydd ym 1895. Credit: Gwent Archives

For all the joy that the Wales men’s football team brought to the nation by qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar, or brought by Geraint Thomas winning the iconic Tour de France in 2018, the backbone of this rich culture is provided by grassroots clubs run by volunteers. Volunteers are often the ones too, even in professional sport, who cherish the heritage of a sport and is one of the reasons why Sporting Heritage CIC spent time with the heritage sector during the pandemic developing a National Framework for the Sporting Heritage of Wales, supported by Welsh Government.

With the doors to museums and collections once again open to the public, the time has come to take the Framework forward and put in place some specific plans for delivery in coming years. I have been recruited to facilitate this work and a central element is supporting the voluntary and community sectors to contribute to this process so that the Framework is responsive to the needs and aspirations of voluntary groups who are already passionately and enthusiastically caring for the nation’s sporting heritage, as well as the heritage professionals.

Among the activities in the coming months will be events, online and in person, to which the voluntary sector is most welcome to contribute to the Framework. There will be an online sporting heritage exhibition for Wales to which you may wish to nominate a heritage item from your club or association. There will also be a survey to help ascertain what sporting heritage collections exist in Wales, where they are held, are they catalogued, and in what condition are they.

To know more about the Framework or about my work at Sporting Heritage CIC more generally, please drop me an email at russell@sportingheritage.org.uk


Bu chwaraeon o hyd yn bwysig i Gymru fel cenedl: o gêm hynafol y cnapan, i rygbi a phêl-droed modern; o focsio i seiclo, athletau i nofio. Mae ein gwlad wedi cynhyrchu casgliad trawiadol o bobl chwaraeon eithriadol ac rydym yn gallu cystadlu ar lwyfan cystadlaethau rhyngwladol ar draws y bwrdd, gan gynnwys ym myd chwaraeon anabledd, lle bu Cymru’n arloesi ers amser maith.

Mae chwaraeon yng Nghymru yn cyffwrdd â phob plwyf, pentref a thref, gan ddod â phobl ynghyd, gwella iechyd a sbarduno datblygiad personol, cynnig cyfleoedd am gyfeillgarwch gydol oes a chreu cystadleuaeth dda ei natur.

Posed photo of team wearing blazers over athletics kit

Tîm athletau dynion Prifysgol Aberystwyth, 1956 / Aberystwyth University’s men’s athletics team, 1956. Credyd: Colin Morgan

Er yr holl lawenydd a ddaeth tîm pêl-droed dynion Cymru i’r genedl trwy gymhwyso ar gyfer Cwpan y Byd yn Qatar, neu a ddygwyd gan Geraint Thomas yn ennill y Tour de France eiconig yn 2018, mae asgwrn cefn y diwylliant cyfoethog hwn yn cael ei ddarparu gan glybiau llawr gwlad sy’n cael eu rhedeg gan wirfoddolwyr. Gwirfoddolwyr yn aml yw’r rhai hefyd, hyd yn oed mewn chwaraeon proffesiynol, sy’n trysori treftadaeth chwaraeon ac sy’n un o’r rhesymau pam y treuliodd Sporting Heritage CIC amser gyda’r sector treftadaeth yn ystod y pandemig yn datblygu Fframwaith Cenedlaethol ar gyfer treftadaeth chwaraeon Cymru, wedi’i gefnogi gan Lywodraeth Cymru.

Gyda’r drysau i amgueddfeydd a chasgliadau unwaith eto ar agor i’r cyhoedd, mae’r amser wedi dod i fwrw ymlaen â’r Fframwaith a rhoi rhai cynlluniau penodol ar waith ar gyfer cyflawni yn y blynyddoedd nesaf. Cefais fy recriwtio i hwyluso’r gwaith hwn ac elfen ganolog yw cefnogi’r sectorau gwirfoddol a chymunedol i gyfrannu at y broses fel bod y Fframwaith yn ymateb i anghenion a dyheadau grwpiau gwirfoddol sydd eisoes yn angerddol ac yn frwdfrydig o ofalu am dreftadaeth chwaraeon y genedl, yn ogystal â gweithwyr proffesiynol y dreftadaeth.

Ymhlith y gweithgareddau dros y misoedd nesaf bydd digwyddiadau, ar-lein a wyneb yn wyneb, y mae croeso mawr i’r sector gwirfoddol gyfrannu at y Fframwaith. Bydd arddangosfa treftadaeth chwaraeon ar-lein i Gymru y byddech o bosib am enwebu eitem treftadaeth gan eich clwb neu gymdeithas. Bydd arolwg hefyd i helpu canfod pa gasgliadau treftadaeth chwaraeon sydd yn bodoli yng Nghymru, lle maen nhw’n cael eu cadw, ydyn nhw wedi’u catalogio, ac ym mha gyflwr y maent.

I wybod mwy am y Fframwaith neu am Sporting Heritage CIC yn fwy cyffredinol, neu e-bostiwch fi russell@sportingheritage.org.uk

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