Sport in Sheffield
Being the UK's first National City of Sport and home to the prestigious English Institute of Sport (EIS), Sheffield offers exceptional sporting facilities and has a long and impressive sporting heritage.
The world's first ever official football club, Sheffield F.C., was formed in Sheffield in 1857 by a collective of cricketers. Within three years, 15 football clubs existed in the city, which hosted the first ever amateur league and cup competitions. Sheffield F.C. still exists today and vies with the city's other major non-league side, Hallam F.C., in the Sheffield Derby. These remain the two oldest club sides in the world, and the latter (which also formed from a cricket club) continues to play at the world's oldest football ground, near the suburb of Crosspool.
These days Sheffield also has two professional clubs in the Football League - Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday - who currently play in the Football League Championship and were also formed from cricket clubs. The two sides compete in the Steel City Derby, which is widely considered one of the most passionate and hotly contested derby matches in English football.
As part of England's 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, Sheffield was selected as a candidate host city, with Hillsborough Stadium the proposed venue for matches in Sheffield.
Other top Sheffield sports teams include the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey, the Sheffield Sharks basketball, the Sheffield Eagles and Sheffield-Huddersfield Giants rugby league, the Sheffield Tigers rugby union, Sheffield University Bankers hockey and Sheffield Tigers speedway teams.
Major world sporting events are regularly held in Sheffield, including the World Snooker Championships in the city's Crucible Theatre, the English Open Squash Championships in the EIS (both occurring annually) and the International Open and World Matchplay Championship bowls tournaments at Ponds Forge.
In 1991 Sheffield hosted the World Student Games, for which many of the city's existing sporting facilities were built. These include the 25,000 capacity Don Valley International Athletics Stadium (the largest of its kind in the UK), which hosts international athletics, the Ponds Forge international diving and swimming complex, where world swimming events are held, and Sheffield Arena.
The city also offers excellent indoor climbing centres (not to mention easy access to the crags of the Peak District), golf and bowling facilities, as well as IceSheffield (a national ice-skating arena launched in 2003) and the Sheffield Ski Village (Europe's largest artificial ski resort).