Public history and the British Society of Sports History: opportunities and challenges

Katie Taylor*, Fiona Skillen, Margaret Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article explores the importance of sports history societies sharing their research with a broader audience. It draws on our own experiences and highlights examples of the work done by other British Society of Sports History members to disseminate their research through ‘traditional’ methods such as films, radio, and exhibitions and digital means, for example, Playing Pasts. However, the paper's aim is not simply self-congratulatory; it also focuses on the need to broadcast sports history to a younger audience, including those studying in further education. In considering how to ensure the survival of sports history as a subject, we, as members of sports history societies, need to engage the next generation of sports historians. This article considers the importance of doing so and the difficulties of this. With universities under increasing pressure and history departments facing significant cuts, ensuring the relevance and importance of our subject has never been more critical. This article makes some suggestions of how to do this and challenges sports history societies to reflect on what else they could do.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-547
Number of pages22
JournalSport in History
Issue number4
Early online date1 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2022


  • impact
  • engagement
  • BSSH
  • public history
  • Impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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