Sport Heritage and Patrimonial Dynamics

Overview of the topic of the

18th Carrefour d’histoire du Sport (SFHS), 22th Conference of the European Committee for the History of Sports (CESH)

Sport Heritage and Patrimonial Dynamics

 Bordeaux 29-31 october 2018

Supported by Thierry Terret,

Former Rector of Rennes district, delegate of the Ministry of Education and of University for Olympic Games and Paralympic Games of 2024

Coordinator : Jean-François Loudcher, Prof. Bordeaux




If linking sport and heritage together was quite puzzling some years ago, strong bonds between the two are now acknowledged, especially in the field of sport studies.  It is shown by various initiatives such as the Olympic Games opening ceremony (for example the opening ceremony at the Sydney Games) or more local activities such as the exhibition of sports toys in Besançon in partnership with the sports national museum located in Nice (2018).  The notion of sports heritage and inheritance has however recently been invaded by politicians, researchers, history and teaching experts, territorial collectivities, private individuals as well as conservatives, which give it a more extensive meaning. Their actions not only aim at keeping sports heritage and introducing it to a broader audience but also at registering it as a real discipline of scientific endeavor. One may ask: What do inheritance, heritage and heritagization regarding sports really mean?


Prolegomena to the notion of inheritance and heritage

An institutional matter?

Heritage originally refers to the idea of an inheritance bequeathed by previous generations and which is to be transmitted in a quite unaltered or even improved manner to the next generations. But, whereas this field remains rather private, the setting up of national identities gives this notion a public dimension which requires an institutional safeguard. Regarding France (Gastaut, 2015) the French revolution introduces a first safeguard service of cultural property. Then, during the July Monarchy, in 1830, l’Inspection Générale des Monuments Historiques (general inspection of historic monuments) was created. Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870), a famous writer, became an inspector within this structure. However, the notion of public heritage mostly developed over the twentieth Century. It spread worldwide with the International Commission of Cultural Cooperation, which was created in 1921. Then, UNESCO (1941) as a specialized institution of the United Nations (UN) gives a new impulsion. In 1972, the first list of “the humanity world heritage” label was set up.

Is French History the main factor accounting for a special position in this respect? In any case, the election of François Mitterrand as the new President of the  French Republic in 1981 enabled Jack Lang, the media culture secretary to initiate the famous “heritage days”(1984) which have proved to be till nowadays quite successful.  Characterized by endless queues which could discourage the most enthusiastic citizens, they become in 1991 “the European heritage days.” However, the recent withdrawal of both the USA and Israel (2017) from UNESCO brings an unquestionable end to the development and the heritage management policy supported by public funds all over the world. In this perspective, the European Council developed a complete program from the meeting in Faro in 2005: Strategy 21 is introduced in Cyprus in April 2017, which aims at promoting a whole range of heritage events. Even if the sports theme is left out in this program, multiple references are to be found through the notions of practice, education, citizenship, and active heritage. The attention given to heritage, correlatively, spreads to include “the immaterial culture” dimension, which was adopted by UNESCO in 2003.

Immaterial cultural heritage

As a matter of fact, heritage is not restricted to the material reality of monuments, buildings, objects and accessories, but it also deals with the issue of immaterial cultural heritage. It is defined as a whole set of practices, expressions or representations that are acknowledged by a human community as being part of its heritage insofar as they give this human group a feeling of continuity and identity.

Consequently, in the aftermath of the Second World War, in a context of destructions and losses, Japan set up the “living human treasures” system, which aims at safeguarding much artistic and handmade knowledge and skills which are then threatened to disappear. But, the fact that this initiative took place should also thank to the long cultural tradition of this country in this respect.  As a consequence, as early as 1895, the Dai Nippon Bukokai is created, as an institution which aims at codifying and safeguarding the ancient fights practices.  However, choices are made and consequently this approach occludes some treasures. The “living human treasures” system nevertheless in 1993 inspired the UNESCO program bearing the same name in order to prompt the member states to distinguish between the most talented holders from expressions and practices. In the 1990’s, this program will be adapted quite differently according to national contexts in several Asian, African, South American and European countries. In France, the “the art masters and their students” program was created in 1994 by the ministry of culture and communication (Gastaut, 2015). Ten years later, this system is acknowledged by the international convention for the immaterial cultural heritage safeguard.  Since 2003, nearly 174 countries all over the world have ratified this convention.  The UNESCO increases interventions, and “sport,” in the broader sense, is especially dealt with from the acknowledgment of Capoeira (2014) to the current projects regarding Turkish archery, Chinese martial arts, and so on…

In France, a movement of heritage ethnology partly became institutionalized during the early 2000s with the creation of the research team stimulated by a Parisian laboratory called LAHIC which gathers together several researchers from different institutions (CNRS, EHESS, universities). Under the name of mission of the ethnologic heritage, which hardly differs from the mission of immaterial cultural heritage, according to the LAHIC team, specifically the ethnology mission this administrative structure, with the general review of public policies, became included in “steering department of research and scientific policy of the general heritage direction.”

If “sport’ seems quite logical to have its place in this ethnology approach, it cannot be reduced given its variety that tends to invalidate Valdimir Heinstein’s distinction (2011) according to which material heritage would rather come under territory and politics while immaterial cultural heritage would rather belong to the community’s sphere.


Sport as a heritage diversity

It would be a long list to take a coherent inventory of a somewhat heterogeneous heritage between the material and immaterial ones which deal at local, national and even international levels. Enclosures, buildings and facilities are undoubtedly the most visible elements of sport heritage: arenas, stadiums, horse racetracks, racing circuits, velodromes, bowling lanes, gymnasiums, swimming pools, ice rinks, and so on…

In France, some of these architectural achievements are most important such as Gerland Stadium in Lyon which was designed by the architect Tony Garnier and inaugurated in 1920. The Charléty stadiums in Paris, the racing circuits like the one in Sarthe, in which the mystical 24 hours of Le Mans (1923) and Monaco (1929) are held are to be mentioned. Jean Bouin’s statue is also to be mentioned: it was made by the sculptor Constant in 1922 and was erected in the square of the Velodrome stadium in Marseille. Medals devised to reward the sports successes have been engraved by famous artists, some by quite unknown ones and others by artists who lacked esthetic research.

But, once again, according to the chosen illustrations, the heritage brand is often mixed with history, local or even trivial history. Viewpoints differ and relativism threatens. However, through patient and methodical inventories these fields and other records deserve to be studied: comics, caricatures, posters, as well as songs, hymns the index of clubs songs, and so on… Media and screens are another major aspect of sports heritage. Thanks to technological evolutions heritage emerges and develops. Intensifying bonds between sports and photography, then video games, the e-sport has a place that is to be taken into account, even if it is future heritage which will have to go through the memory and history filters as well as spontaneous or elaborate manners to report them.

It is quite obvious that heritage also lies on the countless objects that are generated by sports. Equipment and its evolution, each sport specialty having its own characteristics, from collective sports balls to the equipment of golf players or biathletes for example, also deserve investigations which can fuel the history of techniques. Sportswear is also to be mentioned through the evolution of jerseys and more globally through the sports mode (Loudcher, Vivier, 2016).

The archives as a major material of the historian are not to be forgotten.  The numerous and various documents, which have been produced either by the sport community itself (daybooks, letters, administrative mail, rules, scoresheet, licenses, collections and other guest books, photographs, films, and so on) or by people in connection to the sport community (supporters’ reports, fanzines, and so on) represent an heritage basis. Over the past years, these elements have not been left aside by the French archive administration at the national, departmental or municipal level.

In this context, clubs and associations play a key part in the heritagization of sport. Especially since, for various reasons, such structures represent often themselves   heritage without being aware of it. Protagonists stand behind organizations: Oral testimonies of leaders, former stars or symbolic champs as well as amateur athletes or sport fans, represent a field of investigation that should be prioritized. Collecting the testimony of the sport protagonists at the broader sense represents a real heritage challenge that some searchers and institutions here and there have already taken up.

Dealing with sport heritage as a multiple heritage

Safeguarding “sport” heritage is not quite recent if this notion is given a broader sense and, even more, has been the subject of research already carried in various respects. Ethnography had already showed the way in France. In the wake of the creation of the national museum of popular arts and traditions (Paris, 1937), some investigations dealing with traditional games had been launched (bowling, games with animals, various jousts) which enabled to link together ethnography, learned ethnology and folklorist approach, museum business and field contacts (Cuisenier et Segalen, 1986). Simultaneously, conservation policies, in the early 1980’s (Benzaïd report), enabled ethnology to set up a training and research policy.

First dealing with research themes such as the workers culture, the rural world or body (Loux, 1983), this orientation kept on diversifying its investigation subjects, inventing new ones and taking a critical look at its past actions. A reflection on the link between “sport” and heritage was then launched or relaunched in the 1990’s. As early as 1995, the ethnologist Christian Bromberger in particular wondered about the weak cultural impact of sport noting that it was often dealt with as being illegitimate regarding heritage. It was indeed regarded as popular and “low-end” (Gastaut, 2005). Various researches on traditional games (Parlebas, 1999) or the so-called sport literature or literature including sport themes (Charreton, 1981) enable then to qualify such a point of view. Many exhibitions have followed such as the one which has been set up within the frame of the French National Assembly on the theme of sport and democracy with the illustrated book and the synthetic catalogue that are connected to it (Paris, June-July 1998). Designed by Jean Durry, founder in 1963 and director of the sport National Museum which was then established in Paris (Jean Durry was initially trained in museography by Georges-Henri Rivière in the spirit of the museum of popular arts and traditions), this exhibition enabled to assert the heritage dimension of sport which appears through the multiplicity of its aspects.

However, sport heritage cannot be restricted to an ethnological and ethnographical approach because it has political and educative implications, which go beyond the simple identification of games and practices. Such dimensions are certainly to be found since sport equally affects oral, musical or choreographic traditions, languages as support of such traditions, festive events, craft know-how, knowledge and skills in connection to nature or universe (Gastaut, 2015). Furthermore, highlighting heritage implies to take into account dancing, traditional music associations as well as natural resources of national and regional parks.

Consequently, sport museums are major resources and they offer original initiatives such the one of the CIO in Lausanne, the Belgium sportimonium under the impulsion of Roland Renson or the football museum in Manchester, not to mention the multiple private and local structures (almost any famous sport team has thus its Hall of Fame). In France, museums are dedicated to some particular sport such as tenniseum, opened in 2003 on the site of the Roland Garros stadium, or the French federation of basket-ball which sets up a virtual museum.

Basque pelota has also its own museum in Bayonne. But, it is the sport national museum established in Nice since 2014 that has represented the perfect partner of French historians insofar as the institution has kept on increasing its collections and getting new objects and other resources: 45 000 items and 400 000 documents represent thus one of the greatest collections in the world, which shows the importance of sport. Ever since, many researches dealing with sport have followed this way since it is regarded as a full cultural phenomenon. Its place as a heritage element is no more questioned as is recalled by Georges Vigarello in les lieux de mémoire telling the story of the Tour de France (Vigarello, in P. Nora, 1992)

Such initiatives are nevertheless still only at an early stage.  Some logic articulations of such heritage are especially to be found within the frame of the introduction of the various aspects of heritage in order to echo present time. The conditions in which such practices are created and transmitted have to be analyzed in order to understand their evolution, if they continue as they are or if they decline.


Thinking and rethinking sport heritage

Theoretically, the theme of heritage notion has evolved. Some reflections such as Maurice Halbwachs’s had certainly focused on the notion of collective memory (1950) that is to be safeguarded. But, more recent researches have demonstrated (Hobsbawn & Ranger, 1983, Lowenthal, 1997) that it is more a projection of present time than a past picture because of heritage selection (Drouin & Richard-Bazire, 2011). In other words, the choice of a memory is made in reference to the yearnings and expectations of the moment. If remembering means reconstructing history (Ricoeur, 2000), it is necessary to ponder over the manners, objectives and practices forming such processes when we create heritage, whether it only concerns historians or in broader contexts. It is definitely the notion of heritagization that then emerges and must be surrounded and theorized.

Historians certainly ensure to dig “the archives” up and store it, in its broader sense, to protect memory. But their part would be a very restricted one if it did not go beyond this: they have also have to make memory available and understandable to the greatest number of people in full knowledge of the facts in order to turn it into a scientific as well as cultural and societal debate topic. Thinking what is at stake and what the various issues are is a major aspect of their mission in order to take part in an active and critical manner in heritage and in the transmission of collective memory in order to question present time. Even so, thinking sport heritage through is not easy.

Institutionalizing heritage is progressive, problematic and even controversial (Poirier & Vadelorge, 2003) and such issues have to be questioned. But it is the only level of analysis that social sciences can reach to deal with this notion. It can also show social mobilization concerning a major figure regarded as heritage by civil society. It can then become an object of debate at a more formalized level (either local or not) and become the subject of “democratic” meetings between associations and “administration”. To finish with, the awarding of a specific level, regarding heritage, deals with economic and symbolic issues, mixing and intermingling complex levels of intervention, from the local to national level through Europe, the regions and local collectivities.

But, such various categories are most created by “scientists” or managing approaches which want to more precisely divide and simplify the notion in order to better study it. Cannot this approach deprive the heritage notion of its meaning? All things considered, these approaches are all part of a global phenomenon since the heritage notion echoes inside ourselves as an identity and cultural tool. Choosing stylized Eiffel tower as symbol for Paris to apply for the 2024 Olympic Games shows the obvious will to link past and present in a marketing approach which does not leave aside the cultural aspect but rather to put it in the foreground. Enabling to measure each person’s rooting, the heritage sport notion is integral part of our “cultures.”

As a matter of fact, the vagueness of this notion, especially dealing with sport (is football a cultural object?) adds to the complexity of the theme analysis. Obvious tensions between legitimate culture and popular culture (Grignon & Passeron, 1989) are to be found in the various ways of thinking and rethinking heritage, the suggested boundaries and definitions. Consequently, more than often, heritage and “legitimate” or academic culture are being opposed (Bourdieu, 1979). In the study carried out by Suchet and Raspaud (2010, 2011), the authors show a case of rejection of “sport” practice regarding the setting up of cultural and heritage tourism of the winter sports resorts in Abondance (village). Heritage tourism of the gothic Court of Savoie is connected to the negative imaginary of old age, stillness and even death. It seems to be the opposite of the dynamism and youth of skiing, snowboard and other sliding sports. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite, should not the notion of heritage be regarded as a living and highly dynamic object of culture, which could play a part in the traditional tourism attraction?

In fact, such opposition is more likely to largely come from the badly thought notion of culture, especially sport culture (Loudcher, 2011). It is not to be thought as a rigid sociological category but as a tool of transformation and communication, which plays a great part in the inter generation dialog both at the cultural and social level, and which expands through the inheritance and heritage notions. Consequently, we should maybe go beyond the issues of l’Ecole des Annales (Febvre, Braudel, Bloch..) with the anthropological dimension as a key factor of history and integrate now these various fields into reflection. Besides, the boundary between these various issues are more than often very thin, especially in sport history. Studies such as the ones of Richard Holt (1989) or Sébastien Darbon (2011) come within the scope of both ethnology and history.

In this way, the frame of the ethnologic heritage or of the immaterial cultural heritage has undeniably to be supplemented with a collective or individual historical reflection in order to reach a “humanist” education goal, dealing with future and current society issues. In other words, in order to make the issue of heritage more lively and dynamic, it is necessary to associate a dynamic vision of culture, which also implies another way of referring to the one of identity and memory, which is usually used.

Once again, reflection, promoting more processes than categories should enable us to take part in cultural dialogs (Brubaker, 2001: Loudcher, 2011) within the frame of a more “active” heritagization. In this perspective, “sport”, in the broader sense, seems to have an important part and even more thanks to the people working in sport sciences.

Building a legacy in sport:  a particularity of sport sciences?

As a matter of fact, if exposing an heritage is a major act since it enables to catch the eye, and, more than often, to safeguard it, passing it down to others as a real and effective education action is a much more complicated matter in sport since this approach is multiple.

Making such initiatives more “lively” and developing communication actions are major issues. The Anglo-Saxon movement of a Public History to spread scientific knowledge to a broader audience certainly represents an interesting means that is to be used within the frame of this heritage passing on. But the sport particularity, with the body as the focus of reflection, leads to other approaches as is shown for example the undisputed desire and craze to reenact or revive old practices. Such reenactments refer to sometimes the opportunities of replaying famous football or cricket games. But, beyond this, in order to lastingly imprint this heritage in collective memory, all should be enabled to face it either for reasons of difference or for reasons of affinity.

Is history, either personal or collective, not a preferential tool to contribute to the building up of this identity? Generally speaking, the reenactment of middle ages practices shows a strong dynamics to collective memory, touristic attraction, and the desire for meetings between individuals (Tuaillon-Demesy, Vivier, Loudcher, 2013). However, sport sciences, especially PE, did not need this reflection on the role of a more dynamic and “communicative” history to deal with such issues. Teaching once again Georges Hébert’s natural method was part of the history program of sport students who attended Jean-Michel Delaplace’s classes at Besançon niversity in the early 1980’s. And each professor remembers historical reenactment sessions outdoors or in the Swedish gymnastic. Else Trangboek, a Danish professor, made her students play various historical gym lessons in a 19th Century hall and dressed in period costumes; and her way of teaching is a real reference in this respect. These work sessions gave birth to a film entitled The History of Gymnastics for educational purposes in the late 1990’s (it has been subtitled in French by Jean-François Loudcher and Brice Monier). More globally, docu-dramas such as the one directed by Pascal Cuissot and produced by Arte and Television Suisse Romande in 2004 entitled Quand les Dieux couronnaient les Hommes “which tells” the story of the Olympic Games are interesting tools to raise public awareness of this heritage.

But the sport historian can go further in promoting heritage and play an active part. Consequently, recently, Serge Vaucelle’s work (Toulouse University) in an approach combining historical and archeological research, touristic and heritage value as well as an education approach, aims at reenacting a palm game (jeu de paume) in an old castle in the South of France which involves the Direction Générale des affaires culturelles (Regional Direction of Cultural matters). Furthermore, the sport historian is well placed to deal with local and national “memory” and even to go beyond it (Nora, 1992). Sport indeed goes largely beyond the borders and belongs to an inevitable European heritage as is shown by the major work achieved by Etienne François and Thomas Serrier within the frame of the project Europa, notre histoire (2017). For that matter, as early as 1996, Angela Teja was convinced of that such topic as she introduced the first conference of the CESH in Rome entitled La comune eredità dello sport in Europa. Scandinavian, German, or Swiss gymnastic movements spread all over Europe and contribute to create a collective memory. Regarding the Tour de France (more than 1 billion televiewers, the third world event after the OG and the Football cup) foreign bikers are allowed and even prompted to take part, which gives it an international dimension.  The manner in which it is perceived in the various countries leads us to question such dimension. The sport historian is a searcher, but he/she can also be a manager, a teacher/professor, an educator, the first one to pass on cultural heritage with its value especially if he/she works in sport sciences. His/her actions go largely beyond the subjects academically allocated.


Restrictions and methodological and epistemic precautions

At this stage, we have to give epistemic restrictions as well as definitions following methodological concerns. In the university sphere, Callède’s work (1993, Borderie & Callède, 2013-2015) as well as Darbon’s (2011) and Fournier’s (2013) (Fournier & Raveneau, 2008) serve as references. But, we also have to make it a total tool to understand the cultural evolution as is shown by Loudcher’s work (2004, 2010, 2016) about the history of body techniques of the activities of combat sports demonstrating the diversity of the practices in connection to social and political contexts. Physical practice expresses much more than its simple technique: it is the result of symbolical and real interactions that are to be examined.  Furthermore, it is interesting to notice that the latest physical education programs of elementary schools in France (2015) emphasize and encourage the practice of traditional games just as if this heritage should be reenacted at one given time (rise of the extremism, identity issues, ..) of the history of this country.

Even so, can any historical fact, whatever its importance, be regarded as heritage or belonging to heritage? There is undoubtedly the risk of reducing sport and PE history to a “memory” and of imposing the most popular one as is the case for football or Olympic Games. If the historian must refuse to judge, he has however the duty to choose the elements in full knowledge of the facts and not to leave aside some that are regarded as secondary. In other words, he has to adopt an ethical position. But, beyond this point, a decision can be made to illustrate an assumed methodological choice. In this way, we can admit the fact that a historical event is registered as such because it takes part in the changing of history.

Such orientation shows differently the choice of events which could take part in the building of an immaterial cultural heritage of sport history. It leads indeed to focus no more on the event in itself but on what it contributes to modify: any event, how much secondary it may be, can thus be chosen as long as it is justified by this methodological reflection with epistemic implications. What is an event in sport history (Loudcher, 2018)? More than that, what is a Patrimonial Sport Event (Pinson, 2016)? In fact, if the “sport” and “modern sport” notion is still hardly thought of because it is difficult to understand its multiple origins and its evolutions (Loudcher, 2002), this reflection on heritagization can contribute to beyond this useless opposition between what can be regarded and what cannot be regarded as sport.

Consequently, the study of soule or of French choule is undeniably an ethnological object (Fournier, 2009). But regarding the question of its “non sportification” in comparison to its English counterpart, a historical reflection is needed in the broader sense (Loudcher, 2010, 2018) and then it leads to give another definition of sport. It does not only “originate” from UK but belongs to a transformation of heritage of our western societies in which the control of “violence” is variously ruled according to the countries resulting in various kinds of practices including modern “sport”.

The respective connection to scholar subjects is needed: history (in connection to university knowledge), anthropology or ethnology, geography, sociology, as well as architecture, arts, information and communication sciences, have to promote univocal criteria that may converge or not.


This overview of the notion of sport heritage and of the field of investigation which enables to define it, even though it is not comprehensive, will at least enable to evaluate its multiple issues and interests. In this perspective, it seems essential to unite all energies from the historian with his/her methods to the enlightened amateur, the collector through the former champ, the archivist, the journalist, the institutional or association protagonist. They are all able to question, each in his/her own way, sometimes with nostalgia or with a taste for “vintage”, often with emotion, the various issues of this subject.

The exchange of views and approaches, according to the university subjects, should prove to be successful. Such concerns will have to be explained and discussed before dealing with the future of these “elements of heritage”, before studying the operations of safeguard, of didactic use, of spreading to a broader audience lying on adequate intervention.

Why a conference of sport history on this subject in Bordeaux?

A research theme in continuity with the studies carried out by Bordeaux University. Bordeaux University, especially at the sport and PE unit, has been developing since the 1970’s under the initial leadership of Professor Jacques Thibault a whole set of scientific studies dealing with sport history. Furthermore, we owe this Professor the setting up of a heritage basis of books on games, sport and physical education, which have been in quite a remarkable way been valued and developed by Christine Badoc-Moreno’s team. Especially, the value of Philippe Tissié’s resources, which has been scanned, show local dynamism in full action. Some works have dealt with various heritage aspects in the games; gymnastics in the school context, rugby (professionalization), the races of “old riggings” (Pinasses of the Arcachon place). More recently, some doctoral theses have been devoted to studying the Basque strength (Loïc de la Croix), the local memory of the newspaper called la Petite Gironde (Corine Guillon), and the history of the training teachers in Bordeaux sport units such as IREPS (former UFSTAPS) and CREPS (training institution for sport instructor and also for preparation of high level sport people) in Talence (Julien Krier), to mention only a few.

Eugen Weber’s presence is not to be forgotten as the former director of the Centre d’études Californiennes of Michel de Montaigne’s university (Center of Californian studies of Michel de Montaigne University nowadays called Bordeaux Montaigne) from 1968 to 1970.  He took advantage of his stay to “do the Tour de France of Departmental archives” as coined by his colleague and friend, Professor Georges Dupeux. Let’s also mention Jean Hartischelhar, emeritus professor at Bordeaux Montaigne University, director of the Basque department within the institute of Iberian studies, who favored the development of historical studies on the Basque language and culture.

He was greatly involved in the development of the Basque museum (Institut Culturel Basque), established in the Bayonne area, and was an enthusiastic fan of the museum of pelota. In 1970, he founded the Pilota magazine (French federation of Basque pelota), in which Robert Poutou drafts articles in the “Art and pelota” column with great competence. Nowadays, the Basque Museum received the certification of Ethnopole and can act as part of the university. We should also mention Robert Coustet, emeritus professor of art history at Bordeaux-Montaigne University, who carried out several decisive researches on sport architectures or the way art deals with sport. For example, we owe him a great analysis on the stadium “Lescure”: « Le stade municipal et le parc des sports de Bordeaux. Recherche de Paternité » (1992) (The municipal stadium and the sport park in Bordeaux. Paternity testing” (1992). As other major element for the topic, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine simultaneously introduced two multi-years program researches, from 1991 to 1996, on the “sport” theme (directing by J.-P. Augustin and J.-P. Callède) and the other one on the “heritage issues” (Y. Lamy). Last but not the least, let’s not forget the setting up of the 8th Conference of sport history in 1998, entitled Sport and identities (S. Fauché et al, 2000). Other publications dealing with sport have taken over.

At the level of Bordeaux Metropole let’s mention the two great exhibitions set up by the Aquitaine Museum supplemented by interesting catalogs and various peripheral entertainments, one on rugby: “Rugby is a world” 2007, the other one on football “football: almost out of the game” 2016. Let’s also mention the exhibition: “customs officers and sport” which took place in 1993 in the National museum of customs, established in Bordeaux (with an illustrated catalog provided by the museum curator).

It is also important to highlight the work which has been published over many years by the Mémoire de Bordeaux Métropole.  Especially the sport & leisure commission with their researches being regularly published in the Empreintes magazine (last issue: Number 80, June 2017; Robert Hüe, the inventor of the sport park P 6-9, the auto-club of the south West celebrates its 120 years old “, pp. 14-15 “ Nelson Sug, the BEC bugle, p. 25).

Let’s conclude within the frame of Gironde sport and Olympic committee, a “culture and heritage” commission enabled the publishing of an illustrated book Birth of Sports in Gironde, written by Francis Gonzales. Furthermore, several dozens of display boards are currently being divided into two themes: “Sport birth in Bordeaux” and “sport in Gironde. 1918-1945.” The CDOS 33 regularly lends its display boards which are especially precise and greatly illustrated. All the institutions or authorities are likely to lend a hand with the activities or entertainments which will be part of the next conference of sport history as they all require professors-searchers involved in the operations they lead.

Contemplated sub-themes

We can mention some themes that will be dealt with in the exposé following Bordeaux application. The following elements are only exploratory suggestions.

Body practices and techniques: revivalisms

Games, sportivisation of games, sports

Events, revivalisms

Grounds and equipment

The growing place of equipment and public sport grounds in the spatial panning policies of towns

Open field as heritage (horse riding, rafting down the river, surf spots)

Living territories and terroirs (football, rugby, basketball) which put heritage at the center of local identities.


Public policies, inventories and heritage safeguard

Relations to museums (putting into practice, local and national studies)

National, local and international development policies (comparisons)


Heritagization process

Reflection on the theorization of processes. Debates. Local examples. The issues of heritagization (historical, cultural, political, social, territorial or thematic issues)


Passing down heritage

Heritagization experiences

To educate through heritage (at school, by associations, by National days)

To theorize passing down (a new strategical issue for museums)


Heritages, colonial and post-colonial cultures

Heritage, heritagization, and sport and physical activities in colonial and post-colonial context. The point will be to introduce historical, socio-historical and museum researches dealing with modern identity issues coming from slavery, colonization and migrations for which sports ethno engineering heritages and more globally body techniques are major elements.

Value of sport heritage

Virtual museums (Corsica, Basket)

Heritage and new technologies

Actions of development of heritage bonds

Setting up of a heritage event (sport museum, National Museum of football of Manchester, Madrid)


Heritage and PE

Biographical and prosopographical studies

Places of memory (training institutions, classes, institutes)


Sport art and heritage


Musics, hymns


Visual arts, facilities, theaters