Football clubs, heritage and society

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Football clubs, heritage and society

On Friday, February 9, 2024, the Reinwardt Academy organised a workshop centered around the theme 'Football clubs, Heritage, and Society.' This event was arranged in light of the needs assessment research, conducted by the Cultural Heritage Research Group of the Reinwardt Academy from June 2023 to January 2024. The aim of this study was to assess the heritage-related needs of professional football clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium: Many professional football clubs have a club museum. Moreover, football is an activity that resonates with a wide audience, generating diverse opinions, emotions and experiences. The research revealed that football heritage is seen to have societal value and there is a significant demand for its development.


The Workshop:

During the workshop, participants in the research, comprising of employees and heritage volunteers from various professional football clubs, were invited to brainstorm and reflect on their heritage-related needs in light of its potential in addressing societal issues. A further goal was to identify areas in which the Reinwardt Academy could support the clubs in their heritage practice. Reinwardt Academy students who share an interest in football, football heritage, and football culture actively participated at the event, in addition to several external lecturers and researchers from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

The afternoon was divided into two parts. After an informal lunch where participants could get to know each other, Bente Verseput presented the preliminary findings of the needs assessment research. Subsequently, Jonathan Even-Zohar and Menno Welling delved into the heritage vision of the Reinwardt Academy, providing inspiring examples in the realm of football and heritage to further engage the participants on the societal value of heritage.

The second half consisted of a workshop format with three tables representing different aspects of heritage practice. The first table focused on tour guiding and heritage in your surroundings', the second on collecting, managing, and presenting, and the third on education with schools, youth, and the wider audience. In three rounds, participants rotated around the tables. Participants shared their existing knowledge about the subject, expressing their needs regarding that particular heritage aspect, and discussing how the Reinwardt Academy could play a role.

 The various sessions were lively, with participants sharing experiences, tips, and ambitions regarding football heritage. The inspiring afternoon concluded with a casual reception, allowing participants to discuss the day over snacks and drinks.

The meeting was made possible by the Erasmus+ project and platform Football Makes History and the SIA project Creatief Talent Werkt