Explore York Libraries and Archives, York City Football Club Foundation and York City Knights Foundation have recently been awarded £57,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to support a one year joint project based around the importance of sport to our communities.

The Uncovering York’s Sporting Heritage project will include community engagement events at Bootham Crescent and new community stadium, a schools programme, reminiscence work with football and rugby league fans and the gathering of oral histories. In addition, the project will see some of the archives in the possession of York City Football Club Foundation being transferred to Explore York Archives on long-term loan, and the installation of community artwork and digital archives kiosks at the new stadium.

Whilst the sports partners represent York’s football and rugby league heritage, there will be opportunities for other sports clubs to get involved too. ‘Managing Your Sporting Heritage’ workshops will be held over the course of the project to support clubs with their own in-house archives, and for any clubs wishing to deposit their records with Explore York Archives for long-term preservation, we would be very interested to hear from you.

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive, said: “We are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and to National Lottery players, for helping us to turn this project from an idea into reality. Uncovering York’s Sporting Heritage will help us expand our sporting archive collections, and make them available digitally to fans and visitors to the community stadium. We hope that York sports fans will join us in helping recognise our city’s sporting heritage.”

“We are delighted to have been successful with achieving joint funding for this project. It’s a fabulous way of passing on the history of our Club and providing a well deserved legacy for Bootham Crescent by ensuring it is captured in the minds of a future generation of fans, through working with local primary schools, whilst also being the first initiative working together with partners ahead of the move to the new stadium” said Paula Stainton, York City Football Club Foundation Manager.

Adam Prentis, York City Knights Delivery Manager, said “We are looking forward to working with our partners as part of this project, which will be a fantastic opportunity to not only engage members of our community with the new community stadium but also with our sport and the place the sport has in the history of York. Linking tours of the facility to previous grounds, successes, players and characters of the game in York coupled with further enhancing our collection of fans memories will be a superbly interactive way to bring the game in York to life for years to come.”

David Renwick, Area Director North, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Sport plays an integral part in so many lives, it can bring generations together and ignite our passions. Thanks to National Lottery players, this exciting project will actively engage local communities to explore and share the sporting heritage of York, the highs and lows, allowing people to share their memories and opening up archives to new audiences.

To keep up to date with how the project is progressing and find out how you can get involved follow us on Twitter (@YorkArchives UK) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/ExploreYorkLibrariesandArchives/).