Sheffield - ‘The National City of Sport’

It's been a while since I left my job in Sport Development; one part of my role was the annual trip to Sheffield for our students to take part in the British Universities & College Sport (BUCS) Championships. That was the only occasion you would find me in Sheffield! 

Sheffield, South Yorkshire is actually one of the largest cities in England where nature and urbanism can go together. The urban area is surrounded by seven hills and 61% percent of the city is green space. The National Park occupies one third of the city’s territory - that’s quite impressive! All while Sheffield is also a cultural, industrial and sport center that is ready to offer its visitors a lot of attractions, entertainment and things to do! 

Among other titles Sheffield was the first UK city to be awarded the title ‘The National City of Sport’ in 1995. It boasts high quality sports facilities such as Sheffield Arena, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Don Valley Stadium and English Institute of Sport; all places I became familiar with through working with BUCS.

Sheffield Arena is not just the home of ice hockey team ‘The Sheffield Steelers'; the Arena has witnessed the concerts of a wealth of the world’s best known music artists, comedians, and numerous cultural and sport events.

Don Valley Stadium is no less an impressive complex. It was built as the home for the World Students Games in 1991 but unfortunately in 2013 was closed for financial reasons.

The Coach and Horses Stadium is another key sporting area in Sheffield. It is the first permanent home of legendary football club Sheffield FC. This club was established by William Prest and Nathaniel Creswick all the way back in 1857. Sheffield FC is now 158 years old and is the world’s first football club. The Coach and Horses Stadium has a pub where you can try locally brewed Thornbridge Ales. Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday are the 2 other clubs that count Sheffield as their home.

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre has great sports facilities, a gym, spa, Olympic sized pools, pools where families and novices can spend time in a more relaxed environment and a pool for diving that is the deepest diving pool in Europe.  It also houses the International Sports Hall with a 1600 seating capacity.

Snooker is another sport that goes hand in hand with Sheffield. Since 1977 the World Snooker Championships have taken place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The locals try not to miss this world class event in order to watch the top players of the world striving for victory.

The professional attitude to sports is proven by the establishment of the English Institute of Sports (EIS) in Sheffield in 2002. The EIS has indoor facilities and supports different sports. No wonder that young people living in student accommodation Sheffield are taking the opportunity to join a healthy way of life to look great and feel happy.  And not surprisingly, Sheffield is the homeland of a lot of champions, David SherwoodClinton WoodsJohnny Nelson, and Michael Vaughan to name just a few! 

Have you been to Sheffield before?!

What's your city like for sport?! Does it have a history steeped in sport?!

Elle :) 


  1. Hi Elle,

    I actually went to medical school in Sheffield, so lived there for 5 years! I loved my time there- such friendly people and the city is small enough that you feel like you live in a community and always bump into someone you know. It's also where I joined my first running club (Sheffield Running Club) which is based at Don Valley Stadium. You're right, the sport facilities are fab, and with it being on the edge of the peaks ,my marathon long runs were always beautiful!

    I'm glad you liked it :)

    Jess xxx

    1. Hey Jess, thats so awesome! Back in the days I used to visit Sheffield I was more into shopping than sport though! haha! I always use to choose the hotel closet to the mall so I could hit up the shops! Oh, how things have changed! ...I might have to go back! I love revisiting old haunts with a new perspective! :) xoxo


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