Spirit of the North - A Proposal by Simon Mooney

In the summer of 2020, the eyes of the world will be on Tokyo, the host city for the Summer Olympics.

This proposal explains how, in the run-up to the Games, we can celebrate and promote the positive impact grassroots sport has on communities closer to home. It will also further the NPG's objective of meaningful creative connections and support the government's Sporting Future strategy.


Building on my experience as a sports photographer, filmmaker, footballer and coach, from grassroots to international levels, I will inform and encourage young people to document the roles played by the athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators in the sporting life of their community. One of my two business partners is a teacher and her input will be invaluable.

The project will create a significant historical record and assets to promote local initiatives. It will also develop skills in research, observation, photography, editing, archive management and distribution.

I propose to base the project in my home county, with its many social challenges, and, with the help of Yorkshire Sport, work with 10 schools in each of the two years up to 2020. Students will either document their own sporting activities or those of the wider community and, in the month allocated to them, each group will participate in workshops on planning, photography and post-production in addition to the shoot days.


The conclusion of the project will be the launch and exhibition of the very best work at the Gallery during the 2020 Summer Olympics. There's also an opportunity for a monthly highlights showcase across social, regional and national media as well as local exhibitions and screenings.

Funding could be attracted from Olympic Partners, brands with track records in sport, national governing bodies and central government.

I'm planning initial discussions with potential partners before the end of 2017 with a view to starting a test project in the New Year. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on how my proposal could work with the NPG and its Creative Connections programme.

Thank you

Simon Mooney

07860 584322


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