After many years of strategy and planning the B Braun Sheffield Sharks have finally achieved their dream with the opening of Canon Medical Arena.
One of the longest serving franchises in the British Basketball League, The Sharks embarked on a journey taking nearly a decade to deliver a purpose-built facility that will secure the future of the men and women’s professional franchises in the topflight of British basketball and beyond.
With a long-term commitment to serve the community and promote the game of basketball, the club which has spanned three decades, has seen the growth of the sport to the second most played team sport, behind Football, in England.
From a collaboration with community partners Canon Medical Systems UK, the reality of the 2500 seat facility on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park came to fruition with final completion in late August 2023.
“Both the Sharks and Canon Medical have a strong commitment to giving back to our community and we did this together via the RESPECT Project for the last five years” said Yuri Matischen, Chairman of the Sharks, and MD of Park Community Arena, the company that will operate and ultimately own the facility.
“This gives young people at risk of coercion into gangs the opportunity to use sport as a vehicle to divert from those activities and a mentor programme headed up by role models in the form of pro athletes”, added Sarah Backovic, MD of the Sharks, and Director of Park Community Arena.
The success of the RESPECT Project and Canon Medical’s commitment to health and well-being inspired the collaboration of Canon Medical Arena based in the heart of the Darnall/Attercliffe communities forming a crucial part of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
“Expanding on what has been a very successful partnership, we can now explore wider opportunities that support the Sheffield City Region, providing a venue for affordable use to all communities for sport and culture,” continued Matischen. “From grass roots to elite performance teams and events, this transformational facility is open to all.”
Uniquely the arena incorporates a state-of-the-art Medical Diagnostic Centre, operated by health specialists Living Care. This will provide the region’s first specialist Sports Diagnostic Imaging Centre that will translate elite-level health, injury, and rehabilitation learnings to routine clinical practice. This will enable early detection, prevention and faster rehabilitation for sports injury and illness, as well as provide pre-season medicals and sports injury services to professional, elite, semi-professional and committed athletes.
Sharks Head Coach, Atiba Lyons, and Director of Park Community Arena, was truly excited in having a permanent home. After 15 years as a coach in Sheffield, we have an amazing opportunity to expand and grow our players and our teams, to become an even stronger club with huge community outreach, and the added benefit of immediate access to medical scanning.