Free soccer sessions to kick off museum’s football exhibition

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Oak Tree Leisure Centre in Mansfield has teamed up with Mansfield Museum to help kick off an exciting new exhibition.

‘Football: The Beautiful Game’ will be on view at Mansfield Museum from next month but there will be a sneak preview of it in a pop-up exhibition at a Oak Tree Leisure Centre on Saturday 9 March during free football sessions for children and adults of all ages from 9am until 3pm. There is no need to book for these and the exhibition is open to all visitors.

The pop-up display will feature video snippets from an oral history of East Midlands football which has been made with the help of local fans. There will also be a ‘design your own Match Attax’ activity for younger fans to make a memento of the occasion.

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Carolyn Hallam, Health and Wellbeing Manager for the MORE Leisure Community Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Mansfield Museum to help bring the rich history of our local football clubs to life.

The 4G pitch at Oak Tree Leisure Centre in MansfieldThe 4G pitch at Oak Tree Leisure Centre in Mansfield
The 4G pitch at Oak Tree Leisure Centre in Mansfield

“We understand how important football is to the local area, so with our 4G pitch at Oak Tree Leisure Centre, we knew this would be the perfect place to host a launch event for the Football: The Beautiful Game exhibit.”

The exhibition at Mansfield Museum will open during the school Easter holidays on Tuesday 2 April and run until 1 June.

The project is a tribute to the world's most popular sport, exploring its history and cultural impact, from grassroots to the Premier League and world competitions.

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Kirsty Sanders, Development Officer at Mansfield Museum, said: “This fantastic exhibition will delve into the world of local grassroots football including miner's leagues and youth leagues, plus intriguing facts about Mansfield Town, Notts County, and Nottingham Forest.

Football: The Beautiful Game exhibitionFootball: The Beautiful Game exhibition
Football: The Beautiful Game exhibition

“Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in audio visual personal recollections, peruse photos, cherished memorabilia, and display boards bringing the rich tapestry of local football history to life. Centre stage will be Subbuteo tables, including one designed especially for this exhibition.

“There’ll also be sections on football around the world and the Lionesses, charting the evolution of women’s involvement in the sport. Another area looks at sports science and how it underpins athletic performance.”

Other features of the exhibition are an interactive gaming and e-sports area and a selfie stage equipped with astro-turf, stadium backdrop, podium and an array of masks of famous pundits where visitors can role play out their football fantasies.