2014 is setting up to be a banner year for sport heritage – both in terms of events and published research. Perhaps, as we begin the new year, we should take a look at what is happening in sport heritage, and also consider what needs to be done.
There are a number of events with a sport heritage angle in 2014. This is hardly an exhaustive list – so, please feel free to add others you see as important sport heritage markers for the upcoming year:
- One of the more important anniversaries is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. As I wrote about in my previous post, there are some clear sport heritage aspects to this conflict – not the least of which was the Christmas Truce in 1914, but also the many athletes and sports administrators that were casualties in the War. I imagine there will be many books, research projects and events that will recognize and commemorate the sport heritage connections to the First War.
- September 30 is National Sport Heritage Day in the UK. There is both a Facebook page and Twitter feed with more information.
- Several infamous sports venues are celebrating anniversaries this year – most notably Lord’s Cricket Ground in London celebrates 200 years, while Wrigley Field in Chicago is one hundred years-old.
- Of course, 2014 is also an Olympic and World Cup year – each of which generates many sport heritages.
There are also a couple of upcoming sport heritage publications coming out in 2014 (again, please let me know of others):
- Heritage and the Olympics: People, Place and Performance is available from Routledge on January 20.
- There will be a special sport, heritage, and tourism issue of the Journal of Heritage Tourism that will be published later in 2014.
- A Companion to Contemporary Heritage Research – which includes a chapter about sport heritage – should be released in 2014.
Some of the sport heritage-related projects I am working on in 2014 include:
- Examining the creation and dissemination of subaltern sport heritages as a form of resistance;
- Sport heritage and rural tourism development in Belgium;
- Understanding existential approaches to sport heritage.
One of the aspects that makes sport heritage research so exciting is that there are so many interesting topics and perspectives that haven’t been explored, or have been hinted at but not yet examined and disseminated. Here are a few of from my sport heritage “wish list” that I hope I or others explore in the coming years:
- Consumer behaviour/motivation and sport heritage;
- The connections between sport heritage and public health, a-la the fascinating work done by the Sporting Memories Network;
- The connections between active sport tourism and heritage sport tourism;
- Sport heritage and globalization, particularly the mobilities of sport heritage;
- Dissonant sport heritages (e.g.: rival claimants for the same sport heritage);
- Sport fantasy camps;
- “Performing” sport heritage.
Happy 2014 to all – and, please, keep sending ideas, suggestions, comments or critiques. I feel that 2014 will be a top-notch year for sport heritage, and I hope that we can make our knowledge and understanding about this fascinating topic grow.