The power of sporting history was celebrated at the inaugural Sporting Heritage Awards held at Leeds City Museum with 9 individuals and organisations recognised for their work across education, sport, culture and heritage.
Winners including the Yorkshire based Women in Rugby League project, CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, the National Football Museum, National Paralympic Heritage Trust and Silverstone Interactive Museum were presented with their award by BBC Sports presenter and journalist, Tanya Arnold and Sporting Heritage Ambassador and 7-times Paralympian and 12-times World Champion, Hannah Cockroft.
Founder and Director of Leeds based Sporting Heritage CIC who created the awards, Dr Justine Reilly, said: “There is so much amazing work being done by people across the UK using the benefits and impact of sport and its history to help communities and individuals grow, learn, and develop, we knew we had to create a way of recognising those that are making a difference. The Sporting Heritage Awards are a brilliant celebration of just a snapshot of the work taking place and we are incredibly proud of all the winners.”
A judging panel with representatives from across the heritage, sport and cultural sectors had the difficult decision of selecting the 9 winners from the hundreds of entries which included Yorkshire sports executive, Sir Rodney Walker who said: “I was delighted to be invited to be one of the judges of the inaugural Sporting Heritage Awards. The range of categories are an indication of the many ways in which individuals contribute to the benefits which sporting heritage brings to society. The task in selecting a winner in each group was made particularly difficult given the impressive entries received.”
Fellow judge, Eilish McGuinness, CEO of The National Heritage Fund added:
“It has been a pleasure to judge the Sporting Heritage Awards and I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all the fantastic nominees and deserving winners of this inaugural ceremony. At The National Lottery Heritage Fund we’ve seen first-hand the real impact these projects have for our sporting heritage, from recording histories for the first time, sharing unheard voices and involving communities in this rich heritage. It is great to see all the projects and people receive well-deserved recognition.”
The Sporting Heritage Awards will now become an annual event with nominations reopening in January 2023. For those looking to get involved in sporting heritage, National Sporting Heritage Day takes place on 30th September 2022 which this year is celebrating the diversity of sport. For further details on how you can get involved head to www.sportingheritage.org.uk/NSHD