Understanding Sport Heritage

We recently published Heritage and Sport by Gregory Ramshaw. In this post the author explains why the book is needed.

Sport is undoubtedly part of our cultural heritage. As Canadian author Roy MacGregor once wrote “it is impossible to know a people until you know the game they play.” Sport heritage tells us much about our shared past, what we remember, and what we value today. Indeed, we see manifestations of sport heritage everywhere! Many communities erect statues and sculptures to their sporting heroes; cities use sports museums and halls of fame as anchors of tourism development; teams, clubs, and organizations regularly employ heritage-themed events and souvenirs; chants, cheers, and rituals at matches are often thought of as a kind of intangible heritage, while sporting stadia and venues are regularly provided heritage designation and protection.

Because of this growing interest in sport heritage, a book like Heritage and Sport could not be more timely. Although there have been other texts which look at elements of the sport heritage phenomenon – such as sport museums, or heritage-based sport tourism – this book is the first which examines the whole of sport heritage. In particular, the book looks at some new topics in sport heritage – such as marketing sport heritage, managing sport heritage, and intangible sport heritages – while also bringing new perspectives to more familiar topics such as sport heritage in the fields of museums, events, and tourism. As the sporting past becomes more a part of our present, it is imperative that we have a broad understanding of sport heritage.

One of the primary aims of this book is to provide the reader with a wide-ranging understanding of sport heritage. In many ways, it is a launching-pad for other investigations, understandings, and research. A reader might associate sport heritage with, say, historic stadia, a hall of fame, or perhaps with a specific sport. What this book helps to do is demonstrate that sport heritage includes these topics – but that it is so much more! If a student, for example, reads the chapter about existential sport heritage – understanding how sport heritage is related to both bloodlines as well as the practice and performance of sport heritage – she or he might think about this in their own culture and experience. Similarly, if a researcher or practitioner reads the chapter about heritage-based sporting events or sport heritage landscapes, it may help spur ideas for future research and development.

Sport heritage has become an integral part of both the sport and heritage landscape. It is hoped that Heritage and Sport will help others to explore this fascinating topic further!

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Sport Tourism Development by James Higham and Tom Hinch.

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