Shinty central to sports heritage – The Memories Project

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Three national sporting bodies and two national sports museums in membership of Sports Heritage Scotland (SHS) have come together to set up a network of over 100 volunteers to deliver a community based and nationwide sports reminiscence project for vulnerable people living with dementia and other forms of memory loss or experiencing loneliness and isolation.

The Sports Heritage Scotland project has four funding partners, Museums & Galleries Scotland, Football Memories, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Football Museum.

Over the course of 2017-2018, the collaborative reminiscence project will create and establish a minimum of 30 reminiscence groups for shinty, golf, rugby, and cricket.

These groups will be supported by the already established Football Memories Scotland network.

A parallel digitisation programme will create a digital archive for golf, shinty, rugby and cricket which will supply resources to the reminiscence project whilst preserving and safeguarding sports heritage for future generations.

These digital collections will, at the end of the project, be placed under the custodianship of each national sporting body or museum with images specific to the 1940 to 1990 ‘reminiscence time frame’ being uploaded onto a Sports Heritage Scotland website alongside the existing digital archive for football.

It is hoped that with the identification of appropriate resources, the archival aspects of the project will be extended back in time to cover the origins and development of the sports, as well as the more modern period from 1990 onwards.

The Sports Heritage Scotland website: click here will also serve to highlight and promote the heritage of the six SHS member sports (football, shinty, rugby, cricket, golf and curling) and will be available to view in English and Gaelic.

Group resource packs will be created to nurture the development of the Golf, Rugby, Shinty and Cricket Memories groups and to further support the range of reminiscence activities available within the existing Football Memories network.

The shinty resource packs and volunteer induction packs will be provided in Gaelic and English for volunteers.

The Project Partners are: Football - Scottish Football Museum; Golf - British Golf Museum, Shinty - Camanachd Association; Rugby - Scottish Rugby and Cricket - Cricket Scotland. A sixth sport, Curling, will feature on the Sports Heritage Scotland website but is not involved in the proposed reminiscence project or digitisation programme.

A digitisation officer Lindsay Hamilton, has been appointed to undertake the digitisation of images for the various sports and she works from the project’s base in Hampden Park.

Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan from the Global Academy of Sport at the University of Edinburgh has been appointed as Resources Manager to undertake the supervision of the network of groups working on the programme.

He said: “We have established very ambitious targets for our first year of operation with the four sports, rugby, golf, cricket and shinty.

“Alongside the existing Football Memories network of reminiscence groups establish a network of 30 sports reminiscence groups – five for cricket, five for shinty, eight for golf and 12 for rugby.

“Alongside the existing digital archive for football, we aim to create a digital archive of 5,000 images relating to the four participating sports and upload all relevant 1940 to 1990 ‘reminiscence timeframe’ images onto the Sports Heritage Scotland website.

“We have also budgeted for creating a surplus supply of reminiscence resource packs in order to ensure that we are adequately resourced to support groups, within the lifespan of the project, in the expectation that we exceed our minimum target and, indeed, can continue to expand the number of reminiscence groups beyond the formal conclusion of the project by having additional resource packs available.

“Above and beyond the existing football reminiscence groups we have therefore budgeted for 70 resource packs for the other sports reminiscence groups, which is more than double the minimum project target of 30.

“We have determined the number of project volunteers (104) based on the following – Reminiscence Project; 30 groups with two volunteers per group = 60 volunteers.

“Digitisation Programme; four sports involved (cricket, shinty, golf and rugby) with 10 volunteers per sport = 40 volunteers. Finally, one lead volunteer for each of the four sports who will support the work of the reminiscence and digitisation coordinators = 4 Lead Volunteers.

“Work will begin on setting this up immediately and we will be offering training for everyone concerned.”

If you have any images which you think could contribute to the memories project and could be included in the sports archive, relating to 1940-90 in the first instance, contact

Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan on hughdan.maclennan@sportsheritagescotland.co.uk

Or Lindsay Hamilton on lindsay.hamilton@sportsheritagescotland.co.uk