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.

Sport Heritage Stories from the CVP Team

This month we are publishing Heritage and Sport by Gregory Ramshaw. In this post, some of the CVP team tell tales of their own sport heritage.

Sarah

My parents met at a hockey match in which they squared off against each other (my mum was a kickass goalie) so I have always felt that sport is important in relation to my own heritage!

Aside from that, my sister and I were brought up constantly watching football and cricket; our mum is a fervent and dedicated Man Utd and England cricket fan. We were treated to replays of the 1981 and 1986/7 Ashes series at a young age (the latter of which Daddles the Duck was an exciting feature) and a subconscious impression that Australians-when-playing-cricket should not be liked – cue deep disapproval when we pretended to be the Waugh twins while playing in the garden.

My dad is still playing hockey at 75 – I hope I am as active at his age!

Tommi

I’ve always been fascinated by Finland’s heritage in long-distance running and other Nordic endurance sports. In particular the exploits of Paavo Nurmi, Ville Ritola, Hannes Kolehmainen and the other “flying Finns” has always been of interest, all the way up to Lasse Viren who famously fell during the 10,000m at the 1972 Munich Olympics, picked himself calmly up, chased down David Bedford to not just win the gold medal but also break the world record in the process. Although I haven’t visited many historic sites, the one place I did feel worth a visit was the Eläintarha athletics track in Helsinki, where on June 19th 1924 Paavo Nurmi tested whether it would be possible to run both 1500m and 5000m races in the same hour, since this was going to be the schedule at the Olympics that year. He set new world records for both distances…. Finnish long-distance running has had a glorious past, and as a child I dreamed of matching the exploits of these incredible athletes. Although I have lately conceded that I probably will never run at the Olympics, or break many world records, I do still feel a sense of pride whenever reminded of these events.

Laura

I’ve often found myself by chance or intention at the sites of previous Olympic Games. I find it fascinating to see how some sites have been put to good use and regenerated into something benefiting the local area, while others have become slightly eerie abandoned shells of their former glories. Here I am with some friends at the Olympic Rings in Portland, Dorset, which is where the sailing events were held during the London 2012 Olympics. It was a very cold and blustery day…perfect sailing conditions!

 

 

For more information about Heritage and Sport please see our website.