13.03.2015 press information


A new film project being developed by the Institute of Black Culture, Media and Sport, a Hackney Community Interest Company, will not only transform classroom learning about the history of black people and sport, but also provide opportunities for young film makers and volunteers to become involved in an historic documentary feature film.

The film “The African History of Sport”, together with a learning pack, have been funded with a grant of almost £72,000 from  the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It is due to be rolled out in the autumn of 2016 to schools, community organisations, libraries, museums and other educational institutions.

This major project will reveal the hidden history of Africa’s essential contribution to world sport which, until now, has been under-researched and virtually ignored. It is fundamentally significant since nearly all today’s blue ribbon sport originated in Nile Valley Civilizations.

Learning materials also being produced include resources for history classrooms, film archive, sports research and Black History month seminars and workshops.
The 60 minute documentary feature film, The African History of Sport, will focus on nearly three millennia of ancient Egyptian or Kmetic sport legacy, using artefacts and audio visual materials. It will be shown at local cinemas and available on You Tube.

Together with the learning pack, it will also be distributed to a wide range of other significant outlets including history teachers worldwide. Black children and young people will be able to learn about their incredible ancestral contribution to sport through the ages.

The project will generate employment and training for both established and budding film technicians as well as volunteers who will receive quality work experience.
Roots of Sport is a partnership of the Institute of Black Culture, Media and Sport set up to strengthen and preserve the presence of African peoples and their descendants living and working in Britain. It is working in partnership with the University of London’s Petrie Museum and Institute of Archaeology as well as Black History Studies, Badu Sports and several primary schools to deliver this innovative project.

Founder and Chair Claudine Boothe said “This film will establish the African roots of Olympic Blue Ribbon Sports. It will change the way people generally think of sport history. Lottery funding means that our vision can be turned into a real project that clearly locates sport heritage and provides more classroom resources on Black history for schools. It will be ground breaking.”

Previous projects undertaken by Roots of Sport commemorated people who have used sport to transform lives at both grassroots and elite levels. Sports seminars and exhibitions have been held and the new project is an expansion of those ideals.

The African History of Sport, film focuses on nearly three millennia of ancient Egyptian or Kmetic sport legacy, using artefacts and audio visual materials provided by Petrie, British and Manchester museums, and written works by Wolfgang Decker, A.J Serrano, Irvin Finkel etc., about rituals dating from the beginning of the third millennium BCE, and lasted for twenty-three hundred years before the first Olympic Games in Greece. The film concerns itself only with the sport, play and games traditions of Twenty Six Kmetic Dynasties ca. 2950-- 525 B.C

The Institute wants to hear from young film makers, sport historians, schools, museums, archivists, collectors of sports memorabilia and artefacts, volunteers and other organisations who can help make this new and exciting venture into a significant investment for the future. Visit www.rootsofsport.org.uk for further information.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. www.hlf.org.uk.


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Notes for Editors: The Institute is working with:

  • Petrie Museum , UCL facility
  • The Institute of Archaeology, UCL
  • Black History Studies, a popular Black History Organisation
  • Badu Sports – Sports Coaching and Teaching Company
  • St. Matthias Primary School in Hackney
  • Other primary schools, youth clubs and community organisations.