Europeana Sport - Ireland’s Stories, a European project on the culture and history of sport, will show the richness and diversity of sporting history in Ireland and among the Irish overseas through the collection of stories and memorabilia from fans, players, enthusiasts, past sporting heroes and heroines.
These memories will be juxtaposed with those of other countries across Europe showing our similarities and differences but through the decades our mutual love of sport in all its forms.
People can share their stories and memorabilia online or work with a volunteer via the phone or online to tell their stories and send in their photos of past medals, jerseys, triumphs, programmes, hurley sticks, rugby boots, trophies, diaries etc.
In the words of two of our Rugby internationals: Aoife McDermott, Irish National Rugby Team: "I am very excited to experience sport in this way, the memories and stories each item will tell will be incredibly unique. I am particularly interested in the rugby history that will unfold and hearing some of the untold stories”
And Duncan Casey, former Munster and Grenoble player who commented: “I am really looking forward to the Rugby related stories and seeing the objects people have stashed away and love the idea that they will be linked with similar stories across Europe. Sport is so much part of Irish cultural heritage it will be wonderful for us to share our memories.”
Under the common banner of Europeana Sport - Ireland’s Stories, six coordinating partners from across Ireland - Digital Repository of Ireland, EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, European Expo2020, Hunt Museum, University of Limerick Conference & Sports Campus and Fethard Horse Country Experience (FHCE) - are each undertaking campaigns focusing on specific sports e.g. camogie, Gaelic football, horse-racing, fishing, martial arts, tag rugby, rowing. Campaigns will start in late May 2020. The campaigns will engage with local communities and enhance local archives, at the same time as helping to improve the mental health of all involved.
Normally these collections take place at physical events at which materials are digitised and stories recorded but there is huge community benefit in relieving the current social isolation through virtual contact and in occupying a little bit of spare time in finding the memorabilia.
Over the summer, more partners from galleries, libraries, archives and museums will be asked to take part to increase the speed, breadth and numbers of contributions, including the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Little Museum of Dublin. Ireland is the first country to kick off the Europeana Sport Collections. It will boost the Irish presence in Europeana and give us a head start for Europeana’s scheduled autumn campaign.
People across Ireland can go to the Europeana Sport Contribution Form to upload their stories online. Organisations interested in participating should contact the coordinators via tinyurl.com/IrelandSportingStories.
Project Contact: Kathryn Cassidy - firstname.lastname@example.org.