SPORT’S undiscovered history is being revealed at Huddersfield University this weekend.
From rugby league via Gaelic football to baseball, the Sport and Oral History Conference is telling sporting history from the people who were there.
Several of the world’s leading figures in oral history are attending – many from overseas.
Event organiser Dr Rob Light, said: “Oral history is especially important in the study of sport.
“It gives you new perspectives and opens up a hidden history by getting opinions from people whose views you wouldn’t normally hear.”
The conference began yesterday with a keynote speech from Dr Robert Perks, the curator of oral history at the British Library’s sound archive.
There was also a session on rugby league in the community.
“Oral history is especially important in rugby league because it doesn’t have a vast written literature,” said Dr Light.
Stephen Kelly, director of oral history at Huddersfield University, delivered a speech on the football history of Liverpool, followed by a speech on the city’s boxing heritage.
In the afternoon Dr Dan Burdsey, from Brighton University, discussed British Asian cricketers followed by Professor Pellom McDaniels on black baseball players.
Prof McDaniels who came from Missouri University, USA, had played professional American football before his career in academia.
He said: “I saw this event on the internet, I wanted to come over here, so I asked if I could deliver a paper and they said ‘yes’.
“I’m only here for two days, but I’ve been told about the town’s history and would like to come back to find out more.”
People can attend to the conference from 10am today in the Castle Hill Suite for £15 – but students go free.
Prof Mike Wilson from Glamorgan University is kicking things off by talking about Welsh cricket and then Dr Arlene Crampsie, from Boston College, Ireland, talks about the Gaelic Athletic Association.
Another international speaker, Dr Greg Mallory from Griffith University, Australia, is one of two speakers on rugby league and regional and national identity.
After lunch, there is another rugby league session, this time about its oral history in Australia – including a speech about the Great Britain Indomitables team who toured Down Under in 1946, by Simon Foster, whose father played on the tour.