Sheffield Festival of the Outdoors returns for 2022

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In March, Sheffield will celebrate the Festival of the Outdoors throughout the city.

Events include the International Climbing Festival, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and the Howard Street Duel, a mountain bike race in the city centre.

There are events for everyone, from beginners to experienced adventurers, and those who don’t fancy getting active, such as art exhibitions and craft events.

Mark Mobbs, marketing director for Sheffield Council’s Outdoor City campaign, said: “This is a really great showcase of what Sheffield’s all about.

“We’re the spiritual home of climbing, we’ve got some of the best mountain biking and then there’s incredible access to walking and running. It’s amazing but all of it’s intertwined with the culture of a big city and that’s what we’re trying to bring to the festival.”

Festival goers can go straight from kayaking in the River Don to Pollen Flower Market, or from night orienteering in Kelham Island to enjoying True North’s Peaky Climbers, a beer brewed specially for the festival.

Not only this, but the diverse range of events encourage everyone to get involved, Mr Mobbs said: “‘It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your background is, there’s something for you to get involved in.”

The festival’s events are accessible to all, with groups like Cycling 4 All taking part. The organisation is providing a chance for people with disabilities to try adapted trikes at the festival. Tom Collister, the organisation’s co-ordinator, said: “We want everyone to experience the feeling of the wind in their hair.”

Although the Festival of the Outdoors benefits locals, it has placed Sheffield on the map as a world renowned outdoor city. The city will host international events like the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and the International Climbing Festival.

Co-organiser of ShAFF, Anna Paxton said: “It’s a way of connecting adventurers around the world and in Sheffield itself.”

Ms Paxton hopes we can regain the momentum and enthusiasm for the outdoor city lost due to the pandemic. She said: “I hope we can get that energy and excitement back.”

To see the full programme of events, visit the Sheffield Festival of the Outdoors website here: https://www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/festival-of-the-outdoors

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