The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2012 > Our Sporting Life

Our Sporting Life

Our Sporting Life was a unique and ambitious national celebration of British Sport, with 100 exhibitions being held all over Britain to salute sport from the grass roots to the Olympic podia. Its aim was to raise the profile of the UK’s sports heritage through a programme of nationwide community exhibitions showcasing objects, stories and photographs that relate the development of Great British Sport in the lead up to the Olympics that summer.

Our exhibition highlighted Teesdale’s sporting activities and achievements, from the many local clubs and teams to outstanding individuals who were born, lived or were educated in the dale. Starting from early recreational pursuits of the 19th century such as bicycling, quoits and Knur and Spell (a classic game), to 21st century achievements in triathlon, bobsleigh, rugby and football, amongst many others, the exhibition showcased our community’s involvement in sports and honours the resulting sporting heroes of the past, present and future.

Featuring memorabilia, equipment, trophies and photographs, the display covered all kinds of sporting activities from several decades. Highlights included the replica of the football World Cup won by West Auckland in 1909/1911, Karen Straker’s Silver medal in equestrian team eventing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and medals won and honours bestowed on cricketer Sir Ian Botham, OBE. The display also featured objects and stories relating to the great adventurers Teesdale has produced, such as Bentley Beetham and Robert Swan, OBE.

This eclectic and colourful exhibition held something of interest for everyone.