Favourite Things: Chamber of Commerce president and sports specialist Yuri Matischen tracks the area’s finer points
Yuri Matischen is president of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry and managing director of MLS. He came to Sheffield 22 years ago to work on the World Student Games, the catalyst for part of the regeneration of the city through the building of a world class sporting infrastructure.
Yuri joined now retired business colleague Gerry Montgomery in 1991 and helped establish MLS as a leading sports consultancy and event management business.
“Working with John Timms, Sarah Backovic and Sue Catton as directors for 15 years demonstrates just how much we have enjoyed the experience,” he says. “We believe MLS has much to offer the city ahead of the Olympic games and in building the sporting and major events strategy of the future.”
The business, based in Chapeltown, has been the motivation and driving force behind the highly successful One Health Sharks basketball franchise, which Yuri co-founded, holding positions of coach, director and chairman and still a big fan.
Married with three young children, a dog, cat and three ponies, the business of sport is part of Yuri’s DNA. “My wife would describe me as a sporting workaholic and Sheffield has a great affinity with sport. It’s an inspiring and safe place to live but we could do with being a little more entrepreneurial…”
English Institute of Sport Attercliffe
I have to say I spend a lot of time here in a professional and basketball capacity, as this venue is inspirational for anyone who comes to visit the city.
Many sporting international visitors cannot believe the network of facilities and expertise we have in the city and EIS is a real jewel with its flexible use and home to many budding and elite athletes, major international events and, of course, home of the One Health Sharks basketball franchise.
MLS and the Sheffield Sharks have had a long-standing affinity and involvement with the Archer Homeless Project based at the Sheffield Cathedral.
As a Christian I find the Cathedral, particularly at Christmas, such a lovely and inspiring place. The fact that they seek to work with the homeless of the city shows that the Cathedral is really a place of worship and inspiration for everyone.
Penistone Paramount cinema
The kids love to go to the cinema every week and we love the traditional and welcoming cinema feel of the Penistone Paramount where you can have a drink prior to the film or during the interval and speak to cinema-goers around you.
It is totally child-friendly, very affordable and fun.
Candy Town, London Road
Eating out is not a big habit for us as time is very tight. However, whenever we do go out we like taking the kids and the one they enjoy the most is Candy Town Chinese restaurant on London Road.
There’s quality food at reasonable prices and a lovely welcome for the kids with large revolving tables. Hardly haute cuisine but it still has many plus points.
Ewden and Bolsterstone
This area is now our home as my wife’s family have lived in Bolsterstone for many generations and ran the local Post Office.
Whilst I’m still an “incomer”, the regular training runs to try and keep fit circle the Ewden reservoirs whilst Morehall Lane and Heads Lane provide you with gruelling physical challenges but fantastic landscapes at the same time.
My wife, the kids and friends pony trek along these roads and paths. What’s great is that you’re on the edge of the Peak Park yet in 15 minutes you can be in your office in Chapeltown. What a great way to live…
ONE HEALTH SHARKS BASKETBALL
Being in a City of Sport, it only seemed natural to establish a professional basketball franchise in the city to complement the success of the women’s Hatters.
Twenty years later, and not without some success on and off the court, I seem to be still addicted to the thrills and spills of basketball and competitive sport. (We’re in the National Cup Final this Sunday and live on Sky Sports).
Through the Sharks I have got to know like-minded sports men and women, professionally and voluntarily, and I think it would be hard to find a city in which people love their sport more and you can play everything from athletics to water polo. People shouldn’t take these fantastic opportunities for granted.
WHARNCLIFFE SIDE JUNIOR AND INFANTS SCHOOL
When our son was diagnosed with Autism it was a great shock but living in Sheffield has literally been the greatest place in which to find the right help.
From the Reigate Centre (pre-nursery) to Wharncliffe Side School (which has an integrated Special Needs Unit), the support and expertise has been excellent and the improvement in Ben has been outstanding.
The school, where I am a governor, is a brilliant place for all children of all abilities to excel. I have now joined Autism Plus, chaired by Sir Norman Adsetts, in order to examine how autistic children can continue to receive positive interventions to help them live a full adult life.