N-ice and easy does it for multi-million city bonanza

Sheffield's Jason Thompson performs in the preliminary round at the European Figure Skating Championships
Sheffield's Jason Thompson performs in the preliminary round at the European Figure Skating Championships
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Just days after one of the biggest and most spectacular sporting Championships came to Sheffield, the city has unveiled a multi-million pounds sports, culture and leisure events programme for the rest of the year.

Last week’s ISU European Figure Skating Championships at the Motorpoint Arena and iceSheffield, which attracted nearly 200 stars of the skating world from 40 countries, kick-started a unique programme for Sheffield which will drive tourism, boost the local economy and place the city as a key UK location in the year of the Olympics.

The city’s prize assets of world class sporting facilities plus the work of the Sheffield City Council’s Major Events Unit have been instrumental in pulling together a diverse programme which offers:

An economic value to the region of at least £10m

Significant international and national television exposure

Grassroots activities to high-profile international events

A platform for Olympic legacy opportunities such as the planned development of the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Driven on by a partnership involving the City Council, SIV, Welcome to Yorkshire, UK Sport and Hospitality Sheffield, some of the highlights from the sporting programme include:

The UK Indoor Athletics Trials and Championships at the English Institute of Sport (February 11-12).

ETTA National Table Tennis Championships (Ponds Forge, March)

Euro Cup Wheelchair Basketball Championships (Ponds Forge, March)

BUCS (British Universities) Championships (various venues, March)

Paralympic Trials for Disability Swimming (Ponds Forge, April)

The Betfred.com World Snooker Championships (April, Crucible Theatre)

Sheffield Half Marathon (May)

British Gas National Diving Championships – Olympic Trials (Ponds Forge, June)

British Gas ASA National 50m swimming Championships – Olympic Trials (Ponds Forge, June)

Olympic Torch Relay (various venues, June)

ASA National Masters Swimming Championships (Ponds Forge, October)

British Ice Figure and Dance Skating Championships (iceSheffield, November)

In addition, the city will play a key role in the first-ever staging of the South Yorkshire School Games. It is expected details of three more significant sporting events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Sheffield will host a number of international training camps as national teams prepare for the Olympics and Paralympics with delegations from the USA, Brazil, Serbia and Canada expected.

A three-day Fan Fest, including a Tramlines style event, will be held at the Don Valley Stadium and the Don Valley Bowl. It will feature a big screen showing the hoped-for gold medal progress of Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon – thousands are expected to attend and cheer on Sheffield’s finest. Brendan Moffett, Director of Marketing Sheffield, said: “This is an exceptional programme featuring a depth and breadth of events.

“The European Figure Skating Championships has set the standard. It attracted two sell-out nights, 5,000 schoolchildren during the opening days and in addition, TV coverage went out to 13 European counties while the BBC coverage included more than 14 hours of live coverage.”

Full details of the programme can be found at www.sivltd.com/sport