A new short-film documentary has been released showing the state of Sheffield Ski Village and discussing the site’s future.
Local documentary filmmaker Giannis Kipreos has compiled footage from before the Ski Village was left an “urban wasteland” by vandals and arsonists, mixing it with current footage of the devastated site.
The 8-minute “Sheffield Ski Village: Stories From The Snowsport Community” video also features interviews with Tom Twelvetree and Paul Yiend from Snowsport for Sheffield, a group who are campaigning to return the site to its former glory.
“I think on the back of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, that were incredible successful, it really has spurred everybody on to recreate the Ski Village,” says Tom.
He added: “A lot of the Olympians who really did achieve great things at Sochi trained at this facility in the early stages of their careers; The Machon brothers, Katie Summerhayes, James Woods, Dom Harington, one of the half-pipe snowboarders.
“Obviously as the site is at the moment there are going to no future Olympians produced in Sheffield, certainly with regards to skiing and snowboarding, and we find this incredibly sad.”
Utilising footage from “Standing Sideways,” a 2004 film by Nathan Doyle that was produced at the Ski Village, the new video shows the huge contrast of how the site looked in its prime and the abandoned mess it has been left in.
Film-maker Giannis Kipreos returned to the location after a previous video at the site went viral (and was featured here) during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The documentarian told We Love Sheffield: “The anniversary of the fire was coming up and I wanted to film a follow up video.
“I asked about and the Snowsport for Sheffield people stepped forward so it quickly developed into a community based project to help raise awareness.”
Snowsport for Sheffield
Born out of a discussion on Facebook following pictures and videos of the Ski Village’s current state, Snowsport for Sheffield was formed to investigate whether the site could be rescued and reinstall the community facility.
Group member Paul Yiend states: “It was much more than just Olympians actually, it was a real community spirit up here.
“I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have actually met their future wives here and the amount of kids that have been born out of the Ski Village!”
Speaking of plans to resurrect the site, Paul says: “We want to bring it back for the Olympians and we want to bring it back for the people of Sheffield as well.
“We are incredibly lucky to be working with Sheffield City Council and our ideas mirror perfectly with their idea of bringing a country park into the city.”
He adds: “We have audacious plans to create an ‘adrenaline quarter’, which would comprise of winter sports, mountain bike trails and things like that.”
Building on that theme, Tom states: “Within Sheffield there are a lot of smaller sporting communities; climbing, mountain bikers, slackliners. We would really like to hear from all these groups to have an input into this site."
The ambitious group are working on setting up crowdfunding to raise capital for the Ski Village, but Tom admits it is a huge challenge, saying: “It is going to take an awful lot of money and an awful lot of backing and private investment to get this site back into a state that it can be used again.
We have been speaking with the current leaseholder of the site and are in talks with him to try and acquire the lease. We’ve also communicated with the Council for their input as they own the site”
The current leaseholder had previously voiced ideas to build housing on part of the site.
Paul is hopeful though, concluding: “Once where I saw destruction, because of Snowsport for Sheffield I can see the foundation of a beautiful new beginning; a centre of excellence that would inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.”
And following the release of his video on the subject, Giannis is similarly positive: “I think with the right help this can happen. Snowsport For Sheffield is the best idea the city has seen for years, they have my support.”
— Find out more about Snowsport for Sheffield at their website.
— Like the Giannis Kipreos’s videography Facebook page for more great videos and information from the local film-maker.