Sheffield 'The Capital Gains Of Strength'
It seems Sheffield is a City going from strength to strength with its major redevelopment schemes and its reputation as the outdoor City amongst UK adventurers and beyond. Want to bike, climb, run or hike the geography of the City cements that status sitting on the edge of the Peak District and surrounded my seven hills made up of challenging terrain.
Its sport scene is varied with world class facilities accessible across the City. Yet tucked away down the corridors of sport is a fascinating and thriving scene of strengths sports. Sheffield can really say with vigour it is a City going from strength to strength with quite literally its own born and bred collection of strongmen on the National, and indeed World scene.
Did you know the World's strongest Junior is from Sheffield? At 22 Paul Smith took the prestigious title in Canada last month. Yorkshire's new strongest man is Simon Knowles who won the regional title earlier this month in Rotherham from defending champion Mariusz Pillinski. Then there is Sheffield's very own Phil Roberts who is currently England's strongest man.
Then there is Scott Mark Lichfield who won the first ever Peak District highland Games in Matlock in August. 9 strongmen donned in kilts and face paint competed across 5 strength events, ultra-heavy stone carry, stone throw, tractor pull, log press and traditional caber toss performing in front of a sold out crowd.
If Leeds is bidding for European capital of culture, Sheffield can certainly claim European Capital of strength. Phil Roberts has just arrived back from Romania where he competed in the European strongman Champions league coming second amongst world class athletes.
It's not only strongmen either. Strongwomen competed in the Western European weight championship with Sheffield based Ruta Lendraitene placing 5th overall.
The sport does involve traditional weight lifting such as dumbells and barbells focusing on technique, but it's more the car carrying, car lifting, truck pulling and atlas stones that people watch at Christmas that's fascinating.
Not only that but the claimed calories needed each day to maintain and develop such strength. 10,000 kcals isn't uncommon with American based Robert Oberst claiming a jaw dropping 20,000 calories per day!
It isn't just the athletes that are based here in South Yorkshire but also the event promoters.
Man Beast Strongman is based in South Yorkshire in Doncaster too and provides a UK based strength roadshow. It isn't unusual to see England's strongest men having their photos taken in shopping centres and lifting cars, or pulling buses in shopping precincts, as well as social media and marketing appearances, corporate tug of wars and much more.
Andrew Picken, founder said:
"We know people love to come and see the guys lift everyday objects such as cars or pulling buses and trucks.
"We do this around the UK putting the spotlight on the sport and raising the profile of the North as not just an economic powerhouse but a strength sports powerhouse."
It isn't just about the top athletes either. Sheffield Hallam runs 'Strongman Saturdays' which introduces the sport to help participants raise confidence and reduce isolation. Some of the success stories are inspirational to hear as people quite literally pick up their lives and turn them around using the sport to improve themselves. From beginner to strongman.
Sheffield 'The Capital Gains Of Strength', 26th September 2017, 13:40 PM