July 2017: Women in Sport

To mark the UEFA Women’s Under 19’s Football Championship, and Women’s Rugby World Cup, PRONI’s Document of the Month for July has a sporting theme.

Women in Sport

Minute book of AGMs and Committee meetings of the Antrim and Down Ladies Hockey League (1905 – 1907) The document comes from the records of the Ulster Women’s Hockey Union (D3982) and ties in with PRONI’s latest exhibition, ‘A Level Playing Field – Women in Sport’.  The page is from a Minute book of AGMs and Committee meetings of the Antrim and Down Ladies Hockey League (1905 – 1907) which lists, among other things, rule number 15 which states that “hockey skirts must be six inches from the ground all round.  This rule to be strictly adhered to, and no hat pins or hats with stiff brims to be worn in matches.” 

Grainne Loughran, Public Services, PRONI, said:

“I selected this document for July as it is fascinating for a number of reasons.  The Ulster Women’s Hockey Union Minute Books date back to 1905 and give us a real insight into the history of women’s engagement in the sport over the years. This particular entry in the Minute Book for 1905-7 also shows us that despite being restricted by convention and etiquette, women have never been deterred from being active either in competitive or recreational sporting activities.” 

“The document is particularly relevant as PRONI has recently launched a new travelling exhibition, ‘A Level Playing Field: Women in Sport’, a snapshot from PRONI’s archives which showcases a number of historical images from the late nineteenth century onwards.  PRONI is delighted to have this opportunity to highlight women’s participation in a wide range of sports and activities throughout history via its new exhibition. Not only does it remind us that women have actually been engaging in sporting activities for many years, but it also demonstrates the rich and diverse content that PRONI has in its archives”. 

 women playing hockey at Seymour Hill, Dunmurray, Co. Antrim One of the images used in the exhibition features women playing hockey at Seymour Hill, Dunmurray, Co. Antrim (T1677/10/6).  This image from c.1900 helps to show rule number 15 of the Minute Book, as it depicts women playing hockey in the long skirts and hats referred to in the pages of the book.  

To find out more about the exhibition and where it will be in the forthcoming months, follow PRONI on Facebook.

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