The Hunslet Club October News Letter

Welcome to The Hunslet Club October News Letter! This is our new way to document everything we do and achieve. This will be published at the end of each month and will have a summary of everything Hunslet Club. The following post will be wrapping up everything that has happened in October!

Cheer leading Champ, Ruby, Talks About Her Team England Success

As you might know, at the end of September, super talented youth pom dancer, Ruby, 12, auditioned to represent England in the Cheer-leading Championships. Flying through the auditions with great success, she will now be representing our club and country in America next year! We interviewed her to find out more, here is what she had to say:

How do you feel to be representing England in America? “Well, I am very excited … and nervous, as I am going to Florida and competing in the ESPN arena and then we will be going to Disneyland as a team trip.”

What are your proudest achievements so far? “Definitely getting into team England, and then probably winning grand champions and coming first place with the club.”

What help and support have you received from the club? “Kia and Cherry help me a lot, when I got a call back for team England, Kia would let me into the studio everyday and practice with me. Also when I would walk past people in the club, they were supportive and would encourage me saying congratulations and things like that. Cherry also helped me out with a lot of my turns and stuff in class and out of session time.”

What are you looking forward to in the future?

“I think if I continue to enjoy it this year, which I am so far, I will probably try out again next year and continue with it.”

How many days training would you be doing?  “It would depend on the days I had training, but in the beginners class that I now teach, I would be doing my jumps in a separate room usually on a Friday. On Monday I was supposed to do my solo but I did my turns instead and I would do classes on Tuesday and Thursday as well, but they change more to practice of turns. I would also have to send Cherry a video like every day of turns and jumps unless I was at dance.”

Why do you think you have achieved so highly and stood out in your class? “I am not sure… I had been training a lot before I got into the team and people at the club would always help me out a lot, and like, my friends that I have here. If Cherry wasn’t here, they would come to the other room with me and record my videos with me and now I record a video every week to send to team England and Kia lets me come in on a Friday to do that.” 

Not only is Ruby a brilliant pom dancer but a great interviewee. She is a huge inspiration at our club and it was fantastic to hear what she had to say. Another big congratulations from everyone here at The Hunslet Club you have a bright future ahead!

More Success For The McShanes

The Mcshane name is one we are so proud to be able to say is well known at our club. Brothers, Craig, Jack and Paul started attending from a very young age and have continued to prosper in our Rugby section. Paul Mcshane still plays a large role in our club as he now manages and coaches the senior Hunslet Club Parkside Rugby Team, which Jack and Craig still continue to play for, with massive success.

Craig is National Conference League Player Of The Year!

Craig McShane has been a member of our rugby section for a long period of time. A fantastic player, who has always performed to his best ability under any circumstances and successfully demonstrated to everyone what a fantastic and dedicated athlete he is. In mid October, this was recognised by the National Conference League when Craig was awarded NCL player of the year: acknowledging him the most outstanding player in his league.

We are all incredibly proud of Craig not only for this massive achievement, but the consistency he has kept up throughout his career: always applying the upmost of effort in training and matches as well as being a great personality. We asked him for a statement in regards to his latest achievement and this is what he said;

“My main aim always is to win trophy’s with the team but winning a personal award is a close second. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything particularly special to earn the award this year, just always try to do my job for the team – which is easily done when playing with such a good set of lads. I’d like to thank not only all the players but the coaches, supporters and everybody who’s involved from the club on a game day, for helping with the award. We fell just short this year so hopefully next year we can kick on and go one step further.”

Congratulations Craig, we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Paul Plays For England!

On Saturday the 23rd of October, Paul McShane played for the England Rugby Team, following his long prosperous career, in which he has played for a wide range of teams including; Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers. In this game, he gained his first cap along with the 30 -10 win over France in Perpignan! He represented our club and country in the best way possible and what a fantastic achievement. Paul’s hard work and determination to succeed opens doors for not only himself but the people around him and the teams he coaches. He has been coaching our senior team since joining the National Conference League. Since then, he has taken us from division 3 to Champions of the NCL Premier League.

We want to say a big congratulations to Paul and a big thank you for everything he has contributed to our club and its athletes who have been able to learn and train with the best.

October Awareness Month

Our youth workers at senior youth club created ‘October Awareness Month’ to offer more support to the young people at our club. We kick-started this with a Forward Leeds workshop about substance abuse awareness. This was an engaging session that 14 young people attended. They had the opportunity to speak to professionals about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As this was a workshop there was also time for activities and questions to ensure everyone was engaged. Forward Leeds can offer a wide range of support for young people who are struggling and in need of extra guidance, which is why it is so essential that everyone was made aware of this. They provided us with a range of leaflets and contacts for support.

On Friday the 22nd we were visited by Lucy, our local PCSO from West Yorkshire Police. This was for our firework safety workshop, helping everyone to further understand how we can stay safe this bonfire night. Our youth club attendees eagerly gathered around in our IT area to watch her presentation. During this time, they were more than welcome to ask questions and tell their own stories related to the topics being discussed. The presentation covered a wide range of areas including what constitutes as a crime and how to know when you should remove yourself from a dangerous group or situation.

Moreover, October awareness month certainly doesn’t end there. It has provided a clear path from our youth club to further support networks and sources of advice. Now, we have several upcoming events to follow on from the things we had learned in the previous workshops. On Friday the 3rd of December we will be welcoming another one of our local PCSOs to our club to raise awareness about knife crime; a growing issue in all major UK cities today. Furthermore, we are also arranging upcoming drop-in clinics with Forward Leeds and our on-site intervention workers to ensure that everyone who attends our club has an outlet to discuss issues that they may we worried about.

Finally, we want to say a big thank you to Forward Leeds and West Yorkshire Police for donating their time to us and creating such fantastic workshops which have been extremely effective in their approach with our youth club attendees.

Staff Feature: Our Coach Amber

Amber Ellis, 23, is a valuable member of staff here at the club, with a very diverse and impressive skill set, this month our staff feature is going to let you know a little bit more about her. Amber is a multi-talented individual who is a teacher in our school sports program, a youth worker in both youth clubs, a tap and ballet dance instructor and an activity camp leader!

Amber’s drive to teach ballet and tap lies in the reward of seeing other young people enjoy class, performance and reaching personal goals, she states: ‘The most rewarding thing is seeing the children grow in skills and in confidence, having a child come to you with no previous dance experience and after only a few weeks achieving what they thought wasn’t possible’. It is this attitude that makes her classes so successful.

Like the children she now teaches, Amber started to learn several styles of dance, as young as six years old. At this time she learned ballet, tap and modern jazz completing almost all of the IDTA (International Dance Teacher’s Association) grade examinations. Furthermore, at the age of only 10 years old she began Irish dancing, eventually reaching a championship level. By 17, Amber was able to take over the teaching of our ballet section.

After years and years of experience, Amber continued to take this up at a professional qualification level, she is now officially qualified with a level 2 and 3 diploma in dance and sports and a Bachelor Of Arts Honors Degree in dance as well as having her own dance teams an students. She said: ‘My favourite thing about teaching is seeing the children enjoy themselves doing what they love and when performing, bringing to life all of my ideas, allowing me to reminisce of the times when I was young dancing’

Amber is a fantastic role model for the young people at our club, she is a caring individual who wants the best for her students and we couldn’t ask for anything more than that. We are thankful to call her part of our club!

Our Feature Volunteer: Sam Thorpe

Our volunteer feature this month is Sam Thorpe. Over his time at the club, Sam has been a great asset in coaching and attending a wide range of teams and sections. We went to catch up with him during his under 13s Rugby session, to ask all about his time at the club. Here is what we found out:

Sam, 32, first came to the club when he was just 10 days old; following in his father, Paul’s footsteps. Both Sam and Paul have attended the club for as long as they can remember and are still here today stating that they have been ‘bought up inside the club’. After being here throughout his childhood and attending the youth club, Sam explained that rugby was not a prominent section like it is now, it took time to progress and get more popular. When he turned 18, he became a volunteer for our youth club. As soon as rugby started to become more and more popular Sam became one of our best coaches. He now coaches his own son, continuing the generational tradition.

Growing up in Belle Isle, he explained that there were plenty of opportunities to get into trouble, but sport, support from friends at the club and being productive prevented that. He knew that as he got older he could help other young people who wanted to get involved in a sport. When asked why he enjoyed volunteering at the club, he stated: ‘it’s great to see kids progress and enjoy themselves’…’we live in an area where you can go and get in trouble, here they can get into sport and move on to bigger and better things’. It is clear that Sam has so far been successful in pursuing his passion for rugby as well as ensuring young people are able to use sport as an opportunity to progress and develop as people. He stated that now around 7 or 8 of his players are applying to academy’s to join super league teams. He truly is helping young people form South Leeds reach their full potential.

He has had many personal successes during his rugby career for example, winning the Yorkshire Cup. However, his passion lies mostly in passing down his expertise and helping others achieve extremely large successes. This year the open age team who he also coaches have been undefeated winning all 3 cups! Now, Sam’s teams and the individuals he trains can only continue to progress. His achievements and support for our club are unbelievable and we are lucky to have such a talented and selfless individual who’s priority is creating opportunities for others.

A Hunslet Halloween

Our Hunslet Halloween was a massive success. The turn out from everyone in our community was so much more than we could have imagined! The night started at 6:00PM when we opened the hall and introduced everyone to our graveyard stage display. Our Halloween playlist got everyone up and dancing in no time!

Throughout the night, there was a wide range of entertainment beginning with a reptile and creepy crawlie show by our friends at Animal Club. This was followed by a meet and greet, where the children were welcome to come and get to know more about each animal! This was a great opportunity to learn about exotic animals. After, our ballet section put on a spooky dance performance to entertain the crowds, they were brilliant! The rest of the night was filled with food, drinks, games and activities such as dance, costume competitions, lucky dips, a raffle, Halloween bingo and a scare walk!


The Hunslet Halloween Rogues Scare Walk

The Hunslet Club Rogues also put on a brilliant and memorable performance during their scare walk. Our attendees were welcome to walk through the upstairs of our club to see our terrifying live actors. It consisted of four short theatrical plays as well as some creepy jump scares! This was an extremely busy attraction with fantastic feedback from the crowds.

A big thank you to all of our staff, volunteers, actors and dancers who put all of this together. It was brilliant night as well as a great reflection of how big and strong this community is.


Our Real Junk Food Fundraiser!

On Sunday the 24th of October we held a fundraiser in partnership with ‘The Real Junk Food Project’ another local organisation, based in South Leeds who contribute massively to our community. Their aim is to prevent so much food from going to waste. Not only that, but to feed ‘people and not bins’ with the growing problem of so many house holds not being able to afford the basic necessities that they need like food and drink.

The aim of this fundraiser was to raise as much money and awareness as possible for both charities. To do this, we encouraged everyone who could spare the time, to come down to the ‘Kindness Warehouse’ and ‘Build-A-Box’. On arrival people were given crates to fill with any food they wanted. Each crate was £10.00 and people were welcome to purchase as many as they wanted as well as purchase a selection of pay as you feel items.

We are glad to announce that the event was a huge success and we want to thank everyone who came out on the day or helped us spread the word and TRJFP for reaching out to us and giving us this great opportunity. We will be using our cut of the proceeds to fund our free Christmas grotto and decorations at The Hunslet Club Christmas Market which will be a great community event that everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy.

Half-Term Activity Camp

We had another fun-filled activity camp this October half-term! From the 25th to the 29th, we had 5 days packed with a wide range of activities, games, spooky festivities and discos. Each day of activity camp is different for every attendee, it gives young people an opportunity choose what activities they want to take part in and create their own activity timetable. Throughout the day, they can choose from, baking, boxing, football, dodge ball, dance, arts & crafts, out door play, in door play and I.T.

Most children tried out every activity in the time that they were here. Not only that but, its the perfect way for them to discover a new hobby or sport which they can continue to do in our club sessions. It’s great to see so many young people making new friends in a safe environment.

A Word From Dennis Robbins (The Hunslet Club CEO)

I would like to take his opportunity to thank all of our volunteers, staff and members for the effort you put in to make our Club special. Since retuning in September we have registered 1300 members and have had a combined 10,000 visits in September and October. Since launching our new youth clubs we have witnessed a surge in new and existing members attending the sessions and enjoying the improved offer. Congratulations to all our competing teams in all sports and disciplines, you are representing the Club at the highest level and are a credit to The Hunslet Club. Please support all the upcoming events and make the most of what the Club has to offer.