Action in the outdoor city (inside and out)

Few other cities could offer what Sheffield brought to the table this weekend.

Mountain bikes racing through the city centre at lightning speeds – the music is blasting and the crowds are cheering and beering.

Later – competitors and spectators retire to the city’s swarve cinema, for an evening of adventure cinema showings, some speakers and socialising.

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) is the festival giving adventure addicts their hit, with a quirky artistic twist.

After a morning spent clearing half a tonne of rubbish out of the River Don, or an afternoon watching the unique dual slalom mountain bike competition on Howard Street Mountain Biking Dual, attendees grab a bag of popcorn to enjoy some of the best short action films on the big screen.

The Howard Street mountain biking dual

Based in and around the elegant Showroom Cinema in the heart of the city, the festival dissolves the usual divide between sports and the arts. This provides an active and upbeat space for people to share their passions for sport, adventure and cinema.

James Lowe, who is volunteering at ShAFF for the seventh year, shared his thoughts about the festival and it’s importance in Sheffield.
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

Jane Campbell, Activism Lead for ShAFF, said: “It feels like there’s such a raw and exciting energy behind a lot of the stuff we’re doing this year.

“We put together this programme across the ShAFF weekend that’s designed to inspire and empower people, connect with their brains, connect with their hearts get their passion going and get them using their hands.”

Matt Heason, director of ShAFF, said: “The festival’s been really good so far – the weathers good so it’s a nice vibe.

“We’ve got a sustainability and activism theme running through the whole festival this year.

“We are exploring the positive impact we can have on our planet and the people around us.”

Mr Heason also spoke about the importance of the festival in the Outdoor city.

Mr Heason said: “It’s great that this festival puts Sheffield on the map – I’m just about to go into the bar now to go and speak to some guys from London who have come up for the fourth year running.

“It’s a great advert for Sheffield.”

The director said he plans for next year’s ShAFF to be even bigger and better. Let’s hope he’s right!