“We opened in a subtle way because we wanted to find our feet first, but I think that’s worked in our favour,” said Chris Wainwright, who’s leading the latest independent offering on Chapel Walk in the city centre.
Sporting Sheffield offers something not seen in the city before – as a shop, it focuses on celebrating the diverse range of local sports and sporting clubs, exploring their history and heritage.
But it is also a café, offering people the chance to share their own sporting stories and memories – and perhaps even discuss ways to make new ones.
Dr John Wilson, a researcher and consultant who teaches at the universities of Sheffield and Oxford, is behind the venture with Chris, a Hallam University graduate who looks after the day-to-day duties.
“We’ve had a lot of people coming in out of curiosity to see what we are about,” said Chris.
“So far, I have enjoyed speaking to people the most and hearing all about their sporting memories and the clubs they have been involved in. We’re about all kinds of sport and physical activity – football, walking, cycling – you name it, we’re interested in it.”
Chris and John are hoping to offer more in future – and with two further floors to play with there is plenty of potential for growth. An art gallery is mooted.
“We want to become a main focal point for all sport in Sheffield. We are hoping to have a space where we can invite sporting figures in and run different events with them.”
There will be an official launch on February 9.