The Museum of London has acquired ten new sports-related objects for its permanent collection.
The objects are the result of a sports collecting project commissioned last year and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Sports teams and communities in the capital were engaged for the project, which the museum said “reflect the rich heritage and diversity of the capital’s sporting past, present and future.”
One of the first acquisitions to be announced is two oral history interviews which explore the historic relationship between children’s charity Barnardo’s and Wimbledon.
Between 1946 and 1966 all Wimbledon ball boys came from Goldings School in Hertfordshire, a Barnardo’s children’s home. Sam Hill and Winston Norton are two former Barnardo’s ball boys who have shared their reflections, which will be kept in the museum’s collections.
Shereen Lafhaj, Curator at the Museum of London, said the oral histories “not only provide a personal viewpoint on the relationship between Barnardo’s and Wimbledon, but also improve our overall knowledge of London’s rich sporting history.”
Another acquisition is an embroidered textile artwork by artist Ekta Kaul. Kaul was commissioned by the Museum to create a piece of textile artwork documenting the qigong practice of participants from Shaolin Temple UK.
The artwork is a contemporary reimagining of the ‘Daoyin Tu’ which is said to be the oldest chart in the world (created in 143BC) for leading and guiding people in exercise.
Other objects include the acquisition of a newly designed training t-shirt, which represents North London United, a football project for young people with Down’s syndrome, and a set of dominoes, an oral history interview, and a soundscape from a group of domino players at Maida Hill Market Square.
Foteini Aravani, Museum of London Digital Curator and Co-lead of the Sport Programme, said: “London is an incredibly diverse city, and this diversity naturally extends to the sports which are enjoyed by its population. Most people visiting London will be aware of its huge and historic football teams, but fewer may know about the fascinating histories of Shaolin martial arts in the capital, or the societal importance of dominoes to the Caribbean community.
The Museum said the items acquired as part of this sports collecting project are hoped to be displayed in the Museum of London’s Smithfield site when it opens in 2026.