When I took the reins of The Star in October I inherited a first-class team of journalists who are always looking to push the envelope, to win awards and lead the race in regional journalism.
So to see the look on their faces when I insisted we would publish something in Mandarin as a tribute to the 15,000-plus Chinese people who call this city home will live with me for some time. The collective incredulity was palpable, but so was the determination to deliver –and how!
From tales of Chinese love and marriage to multi-million-pound Asian enterprise, your Star team has delivered a smorgasbord of Oriental delights, which I hope you fill find informative and entertaining in equal measure.
We’ve also dedicated four of our weekly Grass Roots sports pages to the Chinese sporting stars of the city, offering Star readers an insight into what is now a significant community in Sheffield.
An Oxford Economics report commissioned by the University of Sheffield puts the net worth of international students to the city at £120m. That’s far from small beer, so whilst the Chinese bring in the year of the horse, we too should take time to celebrate the contribution this Far Eastern migrant population brings to Sheffield.
For some it might only be that their local Chinese takeaway is there for them on a Friday night when the bones are weary and the belly empty, but when you begin to look in detail – as we have for this special edition – you begin to uncover a wealth of hidden gems that enrich the cultural tapestry of our day-to-day lives.
I sincerely hope that this edition of The Star creates a buzz around the city. I would also like to think that it can be used by our business leaders and Sheffield City Council to procure extra trade from China, and indeed the University of Sheffield to demonstrate to overseas students that there is no better city in the UK to study.
And so – happy Chinese New Year.