Elite events such as Cliffhanger help get Sheffield active, says council

The 'Cliffhanger' outdoor festival took place in the centre of Sheffield this weekend. As well as the headline event, The British Bouldering Championships, other events included mountain biking, parkour and skateboarding. Picture Scott Merrylees
The 'Cliffhanger' outdoor festival took place in the centre of Sheffield this weekend. As well as the headline event, The British Bouldering Championships, other events included mountain biking, parkour and skateboarding. Picture Scott Merrylees
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Hosting major sporting events is helping Sheffield’s economy and getting more people outdoors, according to city leaders.

The council says events such as Cliffhanger - held over the weekend - reinforce the branding of Sheffield, and encourage people of all ages to try new sports and activities.

And focusing on Cliffhanger and other key events, including the Allez Allez cycling festival held earlier this month and the Outdoor City Weekender in March, will reinforce the Ouitdoor City message and get more people off their sofas and taking exercise.

Coun Bramall said: “You could see the expert climbers at Devonshire Green at the weekend, then go and have a go on the climbing walls around the back.

“I was at the BMX biking, where afterwards the kids could have a go.

“That’s the ethos of the whole event. And because it’s free, it also helps to encourage more people. It makes it more accessible.”

Cliffhanger was moved into the city centre this year to give more people the chance to enjoy the activities. Even people shopping or having a drink on Division Street could watch some of the world’s elite athletes show off their talents.

“It also helps businesses,” said Coun Bramall. “In an urban environment there are a lot more businesses that can potentially benefit.”

And moving the event from Millhouses Park also brought in extra funding. Sheffield’s city centre Business Improvement District got involved, and the council secured support from energy drink giant Red Bull.

The impact of the move is still being assessed, but Cliffhanger is likely to stay in the city centre.

Coun Bramall said: “With the cuts we are facing it’s difficult to maintain an events programme. We have to focus on the ones that are sustainable. But because we have got the Outdoor City, Cliffhanger helps to reinforce and promote the message, so that’s definitely one that’s worth keeping.”