Leicester Curve Theatre Opens Our Sporting Life Exhibition

Media Release 12 Jan 2011 – Leicester Curve Theatre Opens Our Sporting Life Exhibition

Leicester Curve Theatre Opens Our Sporting Life Exhibition Local Heroes and Forgotten Sporting Legends Celebrated.

8th February to 10th March 2011 The exhibition is part of the build towards the greatest ever exhibition of British sporting history to be held in London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games The Curve Theatre is opening Our Sporting Life, a unique exhibition to reveal hidden sporting histories, forgotten heroes, objects and stories across Leicester and Leicestershire. The exhibition gives a taste of Leicester’s unique sporting position and celebrates culturally diverse sporting achievements, including the long history of the Highfield Rangers Football Club, the ancient custom of Bottle Kicking at Hallaton, an exploration of lesser known local sports clubs histories, as well as the remarkable fact of having top level football, rugby and cricket clubs in one city.

Press Preview: 11am Tuesday 8th February 2011, mezzanine level, Curve Theatre, Orton Square, Leicester. Please RSVP to Gareth@artreach.biz or call 0116 261 6882

The exhibition is part of a series of Our Sporting Life exhibitions taking place across the country to provide a unique insight into how sport has shaped the country, its communities and people. People can also get involved and submit their stories and objects online via the Our Sporting Life website: www.oursportinglife.co.uk

Highlights from each exhibition will become part of the greatest ever exhibition of British sporting life and heritage and will be held in London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Objects and stories from the nations and regions will be joined by icons and treasures from our national sports, such as the Ashes Urn, Calcutta Cup, and the football from the 1966 World Cup Final to name a few.

Our Sporting Life Leicester has been produced in partnership with the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester University, Leicester City Council and is being hosted by Curve Theatre. The exhibition explores the unique sporting heritage of Leicester with highlights including:

· Leicester’s unique position in hosting the Special Olympics twice.

· The Hallaton Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scrum, a sporting event said to pre-date rugby and cricket that has taken place in the village of Hallaton each Easter Monday since medieval times.

· Leicester Speedway, the rise of speedway in Leicester from 1928 through to its recent rebirth at the new stadium at Beaumont Park.

· Highfield Rangers; one of Britain’s most successful African Caribbean-founded football clubs · Other highlights include Leicester’s role in developing professional cycling, a focus on Leicester’s strong boxing heritage, a look at lesser known sporting personalities and much more.

The De Montfort University Cultural Exchanges event in March will also include a special session as part of the exhibition programme about the recording of sporting heritage in the City. The session will include John Williams (University of Leicester) who is also part of the Our Sporting Life exhibition planning team.

Our Sporting Life is funded by Museums, Libraries, Archives Council (MLA) through its Innovation and Renaissance programmes, and created by the Sports Heritage Network, which comprises all the UK’s major sports museums and archives.

Prof. Richard Holt, Director of the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University says: “This exhibition reveals the exceptional richness of Leicester’s sporting heritage; ‘Our Sporting Life’ shows what sport of all kinds has meant to the people of Leicester and how it continues to foster community feeling.”

Paul Mainds, Chairman of Our Sporting Life project, says: “Sport is a pulsating artery of life in our communities. It brings people together and shapes us as individuals. Sporting objects and memorabilia provide particularly powerful and unique records of our lives and national events. Our Sporting Life exhibitions enable people to showcase the objects that tell the stories of their sporting lives and the story of sport in their community. “The best of these objects will be included in the major Our Sporting Life exhibition in London in 2012, sitting alongside national sporting icons and together represent the breadth of Britain’s contribution to the world of sport.” END

Further information Contact Gareth Hughes: 0116 261 6882 or email: Gareth@artreach.biz Notes to editors Our Sporting Life A Celebration of Leicester’s Culturally Diverse Sporting Achievement 8th February to 10th March 2011 Curve Theatre Venue: Curve Theatre (on the Mezz) Orton Square 60 Rutland St Leicester LE1 1SB Free admission to exhibition Opening times: Monday to Saturday 10am to 9pm (Except 8th February closing at 6pm Get involved with Our Sporting Life ? Our Sporting Life wants to hear your sporting memories, everyone is encouraged to get involved. Leave your thoughts and ideas at: www.oursportinglife.co.uk ? Our Sporting Life Partners? The project has the support of numerous bodies both officially and unofficially, including the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, Sport England, the CCPR, Arts Council, Sport England, English Heritage and Visit Britain. Currently, over 30 sports are signed up as heritage partners with the objective of securing the participation of virtually every sports association or body. The Our Sporting Life Leicester exhibition has been supported by the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester University, Curve Theatre, and Leicester City Council. Our Sporting Life in the East Midlands is being project managed by ArtReach. Sports Heritage Network members? Members include National Football Museum, MCC Museum at Lord’s, Wimbledon, the British Golf Museum at St Andrews, the River & Rowing Museum at Henley, the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham, the National Horseracing Museum, and WheelPower, representing the Paralympics. Museums, Libraries, Archives Council (MLA) ? Leading strategically, the MLA promotes best practice in museums, libraries and archives to inspire innovative, integrated and sustainable services for all. Visit www.mla.gov.uk END TO ALL