Sheffield is often hailed for its sporting heritage - whether it be on the football pitch or watching the Tour de France.
Its history as the birthplace of the beautiful game and wide range of sports on offer - from ice hockey to squash - not to mention legends such as Olympian heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill are well charted.
And it is that reputation which led to the city being chosen for a flagship event where everyone can be a sporting star.
Today is the launch of the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, which will take over Sheffield city centre for a marathon event that combines fun, fitness and fundraising in March.
“The people of Sheffield have always been so supportive of Sport Relief”, said Jess Kirke, senior events manager for charity Comic Relief, which will benefit from the games.
“And the city has a fantastic sporting heritage so when we dreamed up the idea of the games and knew we wanted to take it across the UK we couldn’t think of a better city to be involved.
“We were delighted when the council said they wanted to take part and came up with some really exciting plans.”
Thousands of people are expected to take part in the games, both young and old and of all abilities, on Sunday March 20 in Sheffield city centre.
Ponds Forge International Sports Centre will host the swimming aspect of the games, with participants able to swim between 1.5m and 5km,
The Sport Relief Mile will challenge runners to pound the streets for one, three or six miles, on a route that starts at the city hall.
A family-friendly cycle ride on a three mile route that takes in some of the highlights of the Grand Prix race route will also be held on the same day.
Jess added: “We’ll basically be taking over the city centre.
“We want literally everybody to take part regardless of their age or ability as it is a properly inclusive event.
“We will also have bags of entertainment, there will be an event village where people can come and take part in sporting activities, there will be music and we are also expecting some famous faces to take part too.”
Famous faces supporting Sport Relief include Great British triathletes Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee, who grew up in Yorkshire.
Jonathan said: “Yorkshire is such a fantastic place for sport and fitness, and growing up here gave us the chance to go out running and walking as much as we possibly could.”
Alistair added: “We are proud to be able to do what we love every single day, and we would like the people of Yorkshire to get involved in Sport Relief by bringing family and friends together to get active, have fun and raise money for a good cause.”
There will also be events across South Yorkshire on the same day - including some in Doncaster, Wath-Upon-Dearne, Barnsley and Rotherham. Nationally, there will also be flagship events in London and other major cities.
The overall aim is to help smash the £71.8 million total raised last year, of which £1.2m was collected in Yorkshire.
That cash was used to fund 180 projects across the region.
People who sign up for each of the events will be encouraged to collect sponsorship to spur them on.
Jess added: “The money raised goes to such a good cause, it will transform lives both here at home in the UK and make a real different in communities around the world.”
Today is also the launch of the Sport Relief Community Cash fund - which is a £50,000 pot to support community groups across South Yorkshire. Grants ranging in value from £500 to £1,000 are available to grassroot organisations in South Yorkshire that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives.
Applications are open now, and the South Yorkshire Community Foundation is to work with Comic Relief to get cash to the groups that need it most.
Victoria Southwell, UK Grants Manager at Comic Relief said: “Sport Relief is delighted to be working with The Star and offering Sport Relief Community Cash for the first time to local groups in South Yorkshire.
“We have funded some truly fantastic work in the area, and are looking forward to seeing new groups applying.
“Thanks to the hard work of these groups, money raised through Sport Relief can get right to the heart of the local community and make a real difference. I urge as many groups as possible to get their applications in now.”
To take part in the games, visit www.sportrelief.com
To apply for a Sport Relief Community Cash grant visit http://www.sycf.org.uk. Applications close on Thursday, February 7th 2016. Yorkshire group Zig Zag, which supports children on the autism spectrum and their loved ones, has previously benefitted from the grant scheme. Fifty families now attend Zig Zag’s support groups and activity sessions, including exercise classes, swimming lessons and soft play on a regular basis. The classes help children to come out of their shell, gain confidence and grow their social skills, while families also have the chance to meet people in a similar situation. A star-studded night of Sport Relief TV will also be screened on the BBC on March 18.