Russell Todd - The voice of our Podcast
My name is Russell Todd, Sporting Heritage CIC’s podcaster-in-residence. If you have been at any of the Sporting Heritage summits in Bradford, Liverpool or my home city of Cardiff, then you may have noticed me – I was the one lurking with assorted microphones and wires!
The Bradford summit in 2017 was my first contact with Sporting Heritage CIC and I really enjoyed the breadth of sport covered and the range of perspectives on those sports that comprised ‘heritage’: from poetry to broadcasting, participation to governance, elite competition to the grassroots. In 2014 I founded a podcast dedicated to the Wales football team, and I’ve always found those episodes that touch on aspects of society, identity, community, language or politics to be far more interesting to produce than discussing on-field matters.
I would like to think that in the couple of years since Bradford, the podcasts I’ve produced for Sporting Heritage have reflected that diversity. Over on the organisation’s Soundcloud page you can find a range of content recorded at the summits, but also outside such events. Last year I visited HMP Prescoed, a category D ‘open’ prison in Monmouthshire that is home to Wales’s only prisoner football team (the focus of the book 90 Minutes Of Freedom by Jamie Grundy and supported by Sporting Heritage’s National Sporting Heritage Day grant). In January work took me to Wrexham so I called into the town’s museum to hear about the progress towards establishing a National Football Museum for Wales.
There are subject-specific podcasts too. For instance, for the current Sporting Heritage and the Armed Forces project with AMOT I’m producing a short series of podcasts with those curating the project’s traveling exhibitions around the UK. In these we’ve heard about the impact of the Great War on shinty and Gaelic-speaking communities in Scotland; hockey in the armed forces; and how sport prepares people for the battlefield. I’ll see you in Huddersfield for the conference in April.
I’m really looking forward to producing more podcasts for the forthcoming Sport England funded project around the sporting heritage of Disability and Women’s sports. Podcasts are a great medium for the heritage sector to share learning and raise awareness of its work, collections and achievements. Perhaps in the long run, with a suitable focus on capacity building, there is huge potential for the sector itself to produce and share its own podcast (and other digital) content.