Sporting heroes come together to support memory project

Former boxer Bob Fisher from Knowle with Bedminster Down pupils at City Academy.
Former boxer Bob Fisher from Knowle with Bedminster Down pupils at City Academy.

Sporting heroes from the past came together recently to support a Knowle West memory project which has been working with a local secondary school.

The event on 13 May at the City Academy in Lawrence Hill saw some Olympic and Commonwealth sporting greats coming to view the Sporting Memories exhibition and meet pupils from Bedminster Down.

Olympic runner and Silver medallist at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, Nick Rose (63), who went to Merrywood School in Knowle West, and  Olympic triple jumper and former St Mary Redcliffe pupil Vernon Samuels (49) both attended the event.

Sporting Memories has been running at venues across the city – including Knowle West Media Centre – for the past two years.

For the last two months the project has been working with the Bedminster Down pupils who have been collaborating with the older people to record their memories and research old photographs.

Former professional lightweight boxer Bob Fisher who grew up in Knowle West and attended Connaught School took part in the project.

Bob (68) has also dedicated much of his life to volunteering as an official at the Paralympics and was a delegate in charge of disabled football at the games.

He said: “I think it’s good when you talk to young people, they are interested in the past. We’re aware things are changing and can see what they are doing now.

“By exploring the hardship we had in the past they can also become aware of how privileged they are…”

Enrichment Entitlement Co-ordinator for Bedminster Down, Chris Sheard, said: “Our students have been talking to people with sporting memories and finding out what they have done in their sport and been able to give their young memories of sport as well and their company…

“Some of the guys in the group have been able to ask questions of the young people to make sense of what is going on in the modern world…”

Nick Rose who was first spotted running with his school on Filwood Playing fields said it was good that older sportsmen could provide inspiration to young people.

He said: “Sport has played a part in my life for 48 years… I now own a running shop and I still run and do 35 mile bike rides. I was very lucky, if it hadn’t rained that day we would have been doing football instead of running … and I might not have followed the path I did.”