New online journal about sport and leisure history – for academic as well as amateur aficionados

Margaret Roberts
Editorial Assistant

Launched in September 2016, Playing Pasts is aimed at anyone with an interest in the field of sport and leisure history.  The webpage is edited by Professor Dave Day and Research Assistant Margaret Roberts, with online deliver provided by MMU’s Adam Prime, thanks to the support of the Dept. of Exercise and Sports Science. The magazine is presented as an online publication and the only online magazine dedicated solely to the history of Sport and Leisure.

Aimed at readers from academics to the mildly curious, the magazine presents material related to sport and leisure history in a widely readable and accessible format.  Unlike most other publications, Playing Pasts is not divided into discreet issues but rather new material is added on a weekly basis, therefore always offering something fresh and new while existing material is archived for easy access.

While many of the weekly ‘featured’ articles are based on rigorous and traditional academic research, the material is presented in an abbreviated and less scholarly style, akin to a blog, and accompanied by numerous illustrations to allow the reader to discover, absorb and engage with a variety of different concepts and research.

There are different sections within the Playing Pasts portal including;

  • Weekly featured articles
  • Diary dates
  • New publications
  • This week in Sport and Leisure history – round up of both quirky and well known facts
  • Where are they now?
  • Archival Research

New sections will be added as the magazine evolves, we also include an author section containing details of each of our contributors, links to other sport and leisure history sites and a contact page. Playing Pasts also has a dedicated twitter profile (@playing_pasts), which daily publishes an ‘on this day’ fact as well as advertising the featured article each week and many other interesting articles from across the web.

Contributions are welcome from anyone who feels they have something they would like to share about the history of sport and leisure, which is interpreted as widely as possible in this context, whether that be circuses or pantomime, fell walking or climbing, unusual or traditional sports, or anything else you have a passion about. Playing Pasts would also like to hear about forthcoming events and publications as well as any training or educational courses that readers might find interesting.  Just send your copy direct to or via the Contact link on the web page and we will do the rest.

Twitter: @playing_pasts

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