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Pit to Pitch

Featherstone Rovers Foundation combined culture and heritage with increasing movement with a collaborative approach

The challenge

Featherstone Rovers Foundation have been able to work with people of all ages, from Featherstone and neighbouring villages, to learn about our heritage through creative activities. For children and young people this is an exciting prospect as they know children don’t always appreciate heritage and history until they are older. They wanted a project that could engage children of all ages, which would appeal to girls and young women, as well as boys and young men. 

The solution

The funding from the culture grants has enabled Featherstone Rovers Foundation to be able to bring the Pit to Pitch project to life. Without their support it wouldn’t have been possible to deliver on this scale. They worked with school children, former players and their dance academy. Through working with the academy they were able to engage and work with girls and young women, which gave a great opportunity to showcase the benefits of being active and having fun, whilst celebrating local heritage.  

Creation of a heritage dance piece, a collaboration that has been developed by dance artists from ‘Join the Momentum’ and the children themselves. A poem was used as stimuli to encourage creativeness and expression. The poem, 'The Child Miner’ by Billy Wright, was used to generate ideas and themes based around the words and sounds the children could hear. 

For the second half of the piece they wanted to create a fun viral style dance for children of all ages and abilities to be able to engage with. They created movement around the prop of a flat cap, which is something that Featherstone Rovers fans historically wear.

The impact

They had 300 children involved in the activities on the night which included the half-time dance performance and other match day opportunities, including player mascots, flag bearers and guard of honour. For some of the families it was their first experience of a rugby league match too. They had an exhibition upstairs to showcase some of the artwork the children had produced during the heritage days alongside a mural. 

4,127 people attended the game to enjoy, see artworks made by the community and watch the dance show.

How will this be sustained

It was project funded, so it has ended, but the dance academy is continuous, running weekly dance sessions and opportunities to perform throughout the year. The heritage work for young people will stop, but heritage activity will continue with national funding.

Lessons learnt

The foundation said to have more budget available for creatives to be able to plan and work more than what they initially pitched for in the bid. 

A group of girls dancing on a football pitch at a stadium