The purpose of the Badminton Museum of Ireland is to preserve the great heritage of Irish Badminton and to make the general badminton public aware of it.


In the area of sports heritage there has recently been an interesting development. Boston College-Ireland, which has premises in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, has undertaken an Irish Sporting Heritage Project and, to quote its website, is building a history of sporting sites in Ireland. These are the spaces in which ordinary people have congregated , where community identities have been formed, and where excitement and disappointment have sat side by side. This project is being supported by the Dept. of Culture, Tourism and Sport which indicates an acceptance and appreciation of its importance. Those interested should refer to www.irishsportingheritage.com

On 13 January 2010 Boston College held a Symposium to which representatives of those National Governing Bodies of sports which receive support from the Irish Sports Council were invited. No representative from official badminton was present but three interested people from the Badminton Museum of Ireland attended. At present Boston College has received contributions from 18 different sports - but not badminton - for its national database. In the near future BMI will be sending detailed information to the Heritage Project.

Various sporting bodies have increasingly become interested in their heritage. In Ireland, the GAA leads the field and apart from having a world-class stadium it aims to have a world-class museum. It has been in existence for 12 years and has had 600,000 visitors. The GAA Museum is now run as a commercial operation, which indicates its scale. It is dedicated to promoting an appreciation of the values, culture, and history of Gaelic games. No other Irish sport is likely to emulate it. However, Irish Ladies Golf has an archive reaching back to 1893 and camogie has a 3-year project to track and record its history. It was interesting to see a representative of the Irish History Teachers Association at the Symposium. Every Leaving Certificate student has to engage in a research project.

A similar project to that of Boston College is already taking place in the UK, launched by English Heritage in 2004, where a collection of small specialised, often local, histories is being collated. The Badminton Association of England has had a museum for some years and their people have been generous with their help to the promoters of BMI. On separate occasions two BMI representatives have visited the BAofE Museum at the BAofE Headquarters in Milton Keynes. Information on the BAofE Museum can be found at www.badmintonengland.co.uk

Dick O’Rafferty, Curator, Badminton Museum of Ireland


This Edition: 1st May 2010 | 1st April 2010 Edition
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