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18 November 2023

Carmarthen Athletic RFC’s Sports Museum Receives Funding for Landmark Digitisation Project


Carmarthen Athletic RFC and award winning Learning Technology company, Aspire 2Be are thrilled to announce that funding for a groundbreaking project aimed at preserving and promoting its historic Sports Museum, has been secured.

The collection of sporting memorabilia, which boasts national and international significance, will undergo a transformation that will make it accessible to a global audience while engaging the local schools community in a unique heritage initiative titled; The Early in the Morning Project.

The museum, founded in 1967 after the UK ‘Foot & Mouth' epidemic restrictions prevented the New Zealand All Blacks touring rugby team from returning home with their leather playing boots, has been a hidden gem in Carmarthen for many decades. The physical relocation of the club, economic challenges, changing socio-economic behaviours, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have left the museum isolated in its own clubhouse, with its importance largely unknown to both visitors and the local community.

To address this, Carmarthen Athletic RFC, in collaboration with Aspire 2Be, sought funding to undertake a multifaceted project designed that has already seen professional research carried out as well as the cataloguing of all museum exhibits, providing detailed background information on each item of memorabilia, its connection to sporting legends, and its relevance in the world of sports. Subsequently, the collection will be digitised and made available to a worldwide audience through an immersive online portal.

Schools in Carmarthen have already started playing a crucial role in this project. As part of the grant funding, schools will visit the Club and Carmarthen Library to learn about the sports stars. Once knowledge has been developed, each school will then receive recording equipment, including iPads, tripods and microphones and will be guided in using these tools to capture the essence of the museum's most iconic pieces. Pupils will delve into the rich history of sports, immersing themselves in heritage while developing digital skills.

Partner Technologist at Aspire 2Be, Ryan Evans stated that:

“We crafted and designed this heritage project, directly linked to the new Welsh Curriculum, ensuring it involves all teachers and pupils from 8 Carmarthen based primary schools. Pupils will research, script, film, edit, and produce videos showcasing the iconic items from the museum. The videos will then be made publicly available, celebrating the local community's involvement in preserving this invaluable sporting heritage”.

To mark the culmination of this ambitious project, a celebration event will be organised at the club, involving pupils, parents, teachers, civic leaders, press, and club officials. This event will promote the project, unveil the club's virtual museum, and recognise the significant contributions of Carmarthen schools, their staff, pupils, and local library staff.

This landmark project aims to breathe new life into Carmarthen Athletic RFC's Sports Museum, ensuring that its historic significance is not lost to future generations. By engaging the local community, especially children, and embracing modern digital technologies, the project will cement the museum's place in Carmarthen's heritage.

Speaking on behalf of Carmarthen Athletic RFC, Museum Curator Wynne Jones, who has been involved with Carmarthen Athletic RFC in various capacities for around fifty years, mentioned there has always been a sense of pride for the unique selection of sporting memorabilia which has grown significantly over the last thirty years but “the ‘Early in the morning’ project is the perfect way to preserve the collection, in a digital format for posterity. Particularly pleasing is the participation of young local school children who will learn new skills and contribute to the project.”


 



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