Before we start this month’s news letter, it is important that we first discuss the loss of an extremely important person here at the club. On Saturday the 6th of November, we received devastating news, informing us of the passing of our wonderful coach Imran. A loving and talented father, husband, son, role model and coach, who touched the lives of so many.
Imran, 42, was a brilliant and bubbly personality, who always knew how to put a smile on the faces of whoever was around him. Working full-time as a self-employed taxi driver, he was a friendly and familiar face in the South Leeds community. Fellow football coach, Miller Davies, explained that he:
‘always wanted the best for others and helped in whatever situation he could.’
He created unforgettable memories for the young people he coached which they will be able to carry with them forever.
He began coaching at The Hunslet Club during the 2013/2014 football seasons, following his son joining the team. Imran identified that many children were missing out on football due to the junior teams becoming full. Because of this, he started to help create a new team so more young people would have opportunity to get into the sport. His colleague, Matt Surtees, said this:
‘He was always one of the first to put his hand up to help out with coaching if anyone was struggling and even ended up helping out at his sons school. Imran would pick players up drop them off, not just for games but training as well. He would even go as far as buying kids football boots and kits.’
It is clear that his passion for helping young people knew no limits. It was his top priority to ensure they could reach their full potential no matter what. As well as giving so much of his time to our club, he also became a League secretary for ‘Garforth Junior League’ after noticing other teams in Leeds needed support. With his coaching expertise, he was able to eradicate problems that these they were facing such as, the lack of organisation and communication which was resulting in some teams missing out on games. He only wanted the best for these young people, and his main objective was to guarantee opportunity for children enjoy the games just as he had, as a young man. Garforth League Chairman, Russ Mellor, stated:
‘Imran was a good man, someone who gave up so much of his spare time to volunteer and help make sure hundreds of kids could play grassroots football not just at Hunslet Club but helping the Garforth Junior Football League. He was a loving family man and loved his football especially LUFC and Hunslet. We on the committee will miss Imran very much. Not only was he a colleague, but he was a friend to us all as well.’
On the 7th of November, a range of grassroots football teams from in and around Yorkshire came together for a minutes silence and a clap to celebrate Imrans life and achievements. So many teams came out to show their respect truly illustrating the influence he had in grassroots football. Losing such an amazing person has had a big impact on everyone at our club. We will never forget what a brilliantly unique person he was, and we will share memories of him for years and years to come. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Nadine and his two children who were there to support him every step of the way.
The Hunslet Club November News Letter
Starting Off With A Bang: The Hunslet Club Firework Display!
We had our firework display on Friday the 5th of November. Queues of people gathered along Hillidge Road as early as 5:30PM! We had 1122 people attend this display before we reached full capacity where others started to gather around Hunslet to watch from a distance. We were amazed by the amount of people who came down to not only see the show, but support our club. On arrival, the crowds were greeted by our hot food and drinks stands as well as various bars and pods where people could get cold drinks, snacks and refreshments.
Once the display started, everyone watched in awe at the fantastic sequence, that our staff and volunteers had kindly put together. With the crowd cheering and clapping, the atmosphere was filled with excitement, laughter and smiles. The whole show lasted for around 10 minutes all together, when it came to an end with some giant rockets which managed to light up the sky. Afterwards, the positive feedback from our community was astounding. Seeing everyone come together for another family friendly event was all we could have asked for and more!
As always, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved: staff, volunteers, attendees and importantly our local councillors: Mohammed Iqbal, Elizabeth Nash and Paul Wray who have provided some funding towards our upcoming events during the autumn and winter months.
Following the success of October awareness month, we decided that these workshops were something we should try to continue with young people in both youth club and in the day time education scheme. Having a more interactive and engaging way of raising awareness to offer help on different issues proved to be very effective. We found that our young people were eager to listen to a professional in an informal environment where they were welcome to take part in activities, and engage with their friends at the same time.
To start off this month’s awareness workshops, we met Mark from EPIC Risk Management in partnership with Skybet who spoke to some of our students about the dangers of betting, addiction, spending time with the wrong people and drug use. Mark told his own story in which he survived all of these issues after seeking the right help. It was great to hear first hand from someone who had come from an adverse background, recovered and become successful despite having an under-privileged past.
Following on from our previous workshop with Forward Leeds about substance abuse and addiction, we also had a walk-in clinic on the 12th of November. This gave young people in our area the option to confidentially visit a professional about any concerns they may have had related to any of the topics that were initially discussed in the first meeting. At The Hunslet Club we form a support network for the youth of South Leeds. Because of this, we know the importance of making organisations like Forward Leeds easily accessible. Our qualified youth workers can then work with attendees to ensure a better, mindset, positive attitude and brighter future.
For now, we are going to finish up our course of workshops with Knife Crime Awareness on the 3rd of December, led by West Yorkshire Police. It is great to see so many local companies and organisations collaborate with us to ensure young people in South Leeds have to this support and information on topics where awareness needs to be raised.
Senior Youth Club Go Go-Karting!
On the 29th of November, 8 lucky young people were selected from senior youth club for their fantastic contributions and volunteering at our club, as well as good behaviour, to choose a reward of their choice.
After coming together with each other and the youth workers, our young people decided on go-karting. We thought this was a brilliant idea! Luckily there is a go-karting centre local to our club which meant we could walk there as a group before senior youth club started.
We arrived at 5:50PM in time for a briefing explaining everything we needed to know about track etiquette. Everybody gathered round to ensure health and safety was the top priority while we were driving our karts. After, it was time to get suited and booted. We were given overalls, helmets, balaclavas and gloves and then we were ready to go! The nerves and excitement set in as everyone got into a car ready to take on the track for the first time! All of the young people took to driving the karts so quickly as they zoomed around the track. After 15 minutes we took a break for snacks and drinks before they were ready to go again.
At the end of a brilliant night, we finished around 7:30PM. The feedback from our group was so positive! Filled with adrenaline and tired from taking part in a new sport, everyone went back to the club for food and hot chocolate to end a perfect day.
It is amazing to able to offer opportunities like this to young people in our area and we can’t wait to do more! To learn more about how you can support our youth club in creating these events, please Email: Dhall@hunsletclub.org.uk
Volunteer feature: Charlotte Roberts
Charlotte Roberts is an outstanding volunteer here at The Hunslet Club, with a passion so strong that she now coaches 5 different teams every week.
Charlotte, 33, began her journey as a Solitaire Majorettes when she was just 9 years old. After seeing a performance at a local community gala, she knew it was a passion that she needed to follow and never looked back from then on. After years and years of experience mastering the art, Charlotte started her own team at her own local club (The Hunslet Club) in October 2017. She explained that she knew the team was very special and this was also recognised by the club, resulting in great support for their section as an extremely important part of our provision.
They now compete in well established competitions across the country. However, for Charlotte the most rewarding thing about being a coach isn’t winning competitions but seeing individuals in her troupes grow as solitaires, become more confident and make themselves proud. Seeing this in competition is an emotional experience for all of them. Charlotte even stated that ‘We often joke that there aim is to make me cry’.
Now, the team have had many successes. During competition season, the troupes will dedicate their weekends to practice and competing. From October to March some routines can even be up to 14 minutes long. Then, from April to September those routines are performed at competitions. Annually, the teams achieve many first, second and third place awards, as well as, best leader and best mascot awards. The Dinkies team for ages 7 to 10 also won most improved out of every age group and every other team they compete against. They really are the best of the best, not just for their awards but their true dedication and team spirit. Charlotte stated that for her:
‘There’s no better feeling when you dance alongside your teammates and smash a routine’
Charlotte now teaches ages from 3 to 33 where they learn to twirl, dance, work as a team and create, formations and routines. She accepts people of all ages, genders and abilities in her classes and sessions are just £1.50. If you would like to join one of Charlotte’s troupes, it is so easy! Just find the session appropriate for you or your little one with this link: https://www.hunsletclub.org.uk/our-activities/hunslet-club-solitaires-majorettes/
Simply come along to the appropriate session no booking needed!
Staff Feature: Joe and Addy
This month’s staff feature is about our very talented Hunslet Club Rogues Performing Arts coaches, Joe and Addy. We sat down with them to find out more about their journey and The Hunslet Club Rogues .
The pair have been interested in performing arts from a very young age. Joe first discovered this passion as young child when he started performing at family events and weddings. He then had the opportunity to gain a qualification in this once he had reached secondary school, as did Addy. They both went on to achieve high marks in both GCSEs and A-levels. Addy also went on the achieve a gold arts award while Joe achieved a bachelors degree in drama.
They met in University when studying on the same course. At this time, they became a team and began to take on performance projects together; One of which was The Hunslet Club Cinderella Christmas panto. They enjoyed it so much that they returned to the club. After this, where they gained a regular job in providing and teaching theatre classes. Within a very short time, they found themselves bonding with the young people who regularly attended. Now teaching for over 5 years, they explained that the most rewarding part of their job is bringing the most out of young people and seeing their confidence grow as performers.
Joe explained that he loves being able to take on so many different characters, making every day different. He passes his love for limitless creativity down to his students. Performance encourages artists to further explore their creativity and ultimately for the Hunslet Club Rogues as whole, it allows young people to explore the depth of their imagination. He said, he likes to see ‘what they can bring to the table’ as young performers.
Addy stated that they also let the young people choose the plays/musicals that they want to perform. At the moment, the group are learning the scenes, songs and scripts for the musical ‘Six’. A play about British history, Henry the 8th and his six wives, with a modern twist. Everyone at the Club can’t wait to see the final performance as The Rogues are well renowned for putting on brilliantly entertaining shows. The team put on these on around twice a year, with smaller ones in-between such as the Halloween Scarewalk or the Christmas Carol performance.
A typical session would begin with range of drama and performance games to get everyone warmed up for the lesson. Then, they work on scripts and lyrics for their smaller pieces. Followed by dance and scene rehearsal for the main show. They welcome children of all ages with some as young as 8 years old, going all the way up to age 18. There is also no booking needed, all they ask is that you have a passion for performance and a drive to act, sing or dance where they can coach you to success.
From the 15th to the 19th of November we celebrated Anti-Bullying week. Each night of youth club we provided different activities and tasks to raise awareness about the different ways in which we can combat bullying.
We got off to a great start on the first Monday in our junior youth club with the introduction of our anti-bullying box! Here, young people could give advice about how to avoid and recognise bullying as well as add kind words and positive comments. Our Youth Worker, Soe, had also given each youth worker some credit to buy some treats from our tuck shop for young people who demonstrate kindness and good behaviour. This was practised throughout the weeks sessions.
We also had anti-bullying games and activities and games led by our sports and dance coaches. Many of these activities promoted this years anti-bullying slogan ‘One Kind Word’. On Wednesday our attendees also took part in ‘odd socks day’. This was a day in which everyone wore odd socks to promote the celebration of individuality and the fact that it is okay to be different.
Thank you to our new Bronze Patrons!
In November we also gained two bronze patrons! We couldn’t be more grateful for Rhodar and Digitronix . The support of companies like these, enables us to offer free opportunities and more activities to young people in our community. Use the highlight links to learn more about what they do.
Finally, we want to say a huge congratulations to our brilliant boxers John, Fred and Reggie.
On Thursday the 25th of November, Fred Winterburn took on his first ever skills contest in Manchester and what a great performance! He defintely made the club proud. Then, on Saturday the 27th, boxers, Reggie Ward and John Elam managed to achieve two good wins when competing in Bradford. This was Reggie’s 6th bout of the season and John’s very first! A great achievement on both sides. Our fantastic coaches Daz and Kelly accompanied them to the match continuining to support them every step of the way. The team were made proud by the success they all work so hard for.
Well done boys. We can wait to see what the future brings!