Lottery heritage fundedRoots of Sport commemorates people who have used sport to transform lives at both grassroots and elite levels. There is much more to African Sport traditions than just ‘medalled’ performances; for example, there is evidence of using Sport for development, to defeat alienation; and to challenge discriminatory practices. This is in keeping with the great African tradition of using Sport as panacea; and is as valid as great, or medalled performances.

The Black/African tradition of using Sport as a ‘cure-all’ can be evidenced across at least five millennia. There is no denying that Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games, which led to the establishment of the Games of the Modern Olympiads. However, more attention needs to be paid to the precursor developments of organized, competitive sport within Ancient Egypt/Kmt, the Black Land. This is acknowledged by writer Nigel Spivey in his book, ‘The Ancient Olympics’, (Oxford University Press, 2004); and in ‘Sports and Games of Ancient Egypt’ written by German Archaeologist Professor Wolfgang Decker.

Evidence from archaeological sites and documents, suggests skills previously the preserve of hunting and war, were transformed into activities displaying social power or prestige. Evidence from Nile Valley Civilisations, confirms the origin of sports such as wrestling, archery, stick fighting, Hockey, aquatics; as well as forms of athletics and gymnastics. Games and other modes of play, which include board, ball and table games, existed and were developed in Nile Valley Civilisations. Artefacts from these countries, together with possibly earlier evidence contained in Africa’s extensive and remarkable store of rock and cave painting/engraving, created in various locations, from the Sahara to the southern tip of the African continent, supply abundant confirmation of the role and early presence of sport, play and games in African social life.