Memoral lecture dedicated to former councillor and SIC official Rob Anderson

This year’s Shetland Museum memorial lecture will be dedicated to Rob Anderson, who gave 45 years of service to Shetland’s local authority as both an employee and a councillor.

Sportsmanship, fair play and the desire to extend sporting opportunities to all, were values and beliefs held by Mr Anderson. His varied interests included shooting, sea fishing, playing inter-county football against Orkney, sailing and badminton. He crewed and skippered sailed Shetland Model boats in races and regattas.

Most people remember him for his success, dedication and contribution to the local badminton scene and his role, with John Nicolson, in the creation of the leisure centre network.

Described as “one of the outstanding badminton players of his generation” he played for Shetland against Orkney 18 times in succession from 1961. In addition he won many individual titles at the annual championships. He was also one of the researchers, writers and compilers of The History of Shetland Badminton.

As part of Mr Anderson’s remit in the SIC leisure and recreation department he supported the network of community halls, the venue of many sporting activities in Shetland. He and his manager Mr Nicolson were responsible for overseeing the detailed design and tender stage of the leisure centre network, and then handed the build and management of the centres over to the Shetland Recreational Trust.

Delivering this year’s memorial lecture is Professor Richard Holt from De Montfort University’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture.

Prof Holt is thought to have written the first history doctorate on sport at a British university. In his career he has worked as a lecturer in modern history at Stirling University, followed by a period as a senior research fellow at the University of Leuven, Belgium, before taking up his present post at De Montfort University.

Shetland Museum curator Ian Tait said: “De Montfort University is acknowledged as the leading centre for the study of sport history in the world. I am delighted that Professor Holt is able to give a lecture in memory of Rob Anderson.

“Professor’s Holt’s interests are in the social history of sport, and I feel that his lecture is a fitting tribute to Rob Anderson, who through both his personal and professional interests contributed to the social history of sport in Shetland.”

Prof Holt’s lecture is entitled “Sport, History and British Culture, 1700-2000” and he will explore the creation of modern sport from regency boxers to Sky sports celebrities, using images and extracts from the recent BBC series Sport and the British.

The lecture will be held on Thursday at 7.30pm in the Shetland Museum auditorium. It is free to attend but it is strongly recommend that people reserve tickets in advance at the reception desk or by phoning (01595) 741562.


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