Thousands enjoy 'brilliant' Cliffhanger as outdoor events come to city centre

Spectators watch the British Bouldering Championships on Devonshire Green.
Spectators watch the British Bouldering Championships on Devonshire Green.
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Sheffield's claim to being 'The Outdoor City' was further enhanced this weekend with the return of the Cliffhanger festival.

Taking place throughout the city centre, the annual event hosted some of the best climbing talent in the country during the British Bouldering Championships.

People packed onto Devonshire Green to watch the tense action and soak up the glorious sunshine, with many bringing picnics and taking advantage of the deckchairs laid out.

Someone with a particular interest in the competition was Jack Palmieri, a youth coach for the GB Climbing team. He travelled to Sheffield with his family from Manchester to watch several students in the contest.

"For a lot of the boulderers Cliffhanger will be the biggest part of the season," he said.

"This is a major event.

Competitors try to scale the wall.

Competitors try to scale the wall.

"A lot of them haven't had the luxury of going to a senior European event so this is a chance to compete against the European talent."

The climbing wall was moved to Devonshire Green last year in an attempt to increase interest in the competition. The move proved a success and the stage remained in the city centre this year.

"It's really important to have it here," said Jack.

"A lot of people will be here just for the competition.

The Pickup family, Simon, Helen, Imogen and Oliver.

The Pickup family, Simon, Helen, Imogen and Oliver.

"There was a questionnaire on the website asking what people were coming here for. I think a lot that are here will be coming for the championship.

"But it's a well-rounded event. It's great exposure."

Cliffhanger is not all about the professional athletes though, and there was plenty for everyone to enjoy. The Peace Gardens and Barkers Pool were full of activities, from climbing ropes and zip lines to scuba diving and mountain biking.

There were exhibitions from various display teams and people could get skateboard lessons or sign up to various clubs.

Activities in the Peace Gardens.

Activities in the Peace Gardens.

There was also music and entertainment throughout the weekend.

Simon and Helen Pickup brought their children Imogen, eight, and Oliver, five, into town from Dronfield on Saturday to have a look around.

"We've come in because of the kids," said Helen.

"They are really interested in rock climbing. They go to Mini Works climbing wall and came to see how it's properly done.

"And it's such a lovely day. It's brilliant."

The family missed Cliffhanger last year but were impressed with what they saw this time around.

"We have just walked up through the city centre and there's loads going on," said Helen.

"For the kids it shows that progression. It gets them interested."

This year's Cliffhanger festival was sponsored by Sheffield Business Improvement District, with other backers including the University of Derby.

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