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While the curtain may have folded on the performances, the legacy of this unique heritage project lives on, among individuals and communities.
Forming part of our Heritage Consultant, Brigid Power’s, PhD research, we have been in an enviable position of catching up with the participants and performers three years later, to see if and how, being part of the play, had any impact upon their lives longer term.
The results of this research are overwhelmingly positive.
Remarkably, those involved, whose ages ranged from teenagers to over 80 are still very much in touch, are still friends and still socialise with each other.
These friendships have had unexpected outcomes. One of the performers, now 16, said she had gained so much confidence from the project and had improved her social skills no end by ‘being able to talk to 70 year olds’!
One of the former players commented how he, too, had grown in confidence and had learnt so many skills from the younger members of the cast.
Everyone felt a pride in what they had done; a pride in their home towns of Rochdale and Oldham and had gained an understanding of how important it is that people’s stories are told. These stories are the bedrock of the history of a place and a community.
This piece of research undertaken by Brigid forms part of a wider look at how engaging in sporting heritage (in particular Rugby League) helps support a social inclusion agenda – how it contributes to improving lives in different communities, no matter who you are, or what your background is.
Rugby League Cares is proud to be a facilitator of this kind of important work and will continue to do so in the future.
Please get in touch with Brigid if you would like any more information on her research, or on any kind of Rugby League heritage project. Brigid.firstname.lastname@example.org