Welcome to The Hunslet Club May News Letter! This is our new way to document everything we do and achieve. This will be published on the 4th of each month, and have a summary of our Hunslet Club highlights. The following post will be wrapping up everything that has happened in May!
Staff Bio Feature: Darren (Boxing Coach & Behavioural Support Officer)
Darren first started coming to the club at just 8 years old when he lived locally in Belle Isle in his childhood home. He joined The Hunslet Club after his older brother joined the rugby team, which inspired him to join too. Shortly after, both began to attend the youth club together after their rugby sessions.
At this time, Darren and his bother were welcomed with open arms while they found a place for themselves at the club. When his family moved to a new home, their next door neighbour was a boxing tutor at the South Leeds Sports Centre which he took up at 9 years old. Then, in 1983, he met, Dennis, our current Hunslet Club CEO, who was also a boxing coach at the centre. The council run sports centre however, could not host or enter boxing competitions. This is when Dennis, who had also been attending the club since he was a young child, decided to start his own boxing section at The Hunslet Club where he could train up boxers who would be able to start promising careers competing in the sport.
Darren then worked his way up from the sports centre to The Hunslet Club where he could become a competing boxer. After training with Dennis, Darren achieved a national title for his category as a champion of England and Wales at just 13 years old. This gave him a place in the international circuit where he could then box for England, opening the door to an endless amount of opportunities. Darren explain how he struggled with behavioural issues as a child, which resulted in a lack of interest in things like school work.
The Hunslet Club gave Darren engaging external opportunities that would not have been there otherwise. He reached and discovered a great potential, which could have otherwise gone undiscovered. Outside of his boxing career, Darren also spent his spare time here participating in kids camp in addition to regular sport sessions. He described this as the only holiday which would have been available to him for the whole year. Darren continues his time here as a boxing coach as well as a support/youth worker for the young people in our day time education scheme. They can talk to him and receive support from him in terms of hardships, advice and managing anger/behavioural issues.
He explained that:
‘when you have been part of the club for so long (36 years) the club always creates memories and a family for those who need it most’
Moreover, he believes that now there are not enough places like The Hunslet Club which focus on supporting the community rather than the profit they can make from the community. He went on to explain the biggest reward is seeing others progress which is ‘more important than anything else’ . This could apply to beginners picking up new skills or young people following in his footsteps who are winning national titles with his support.
‘Any personal successes big or small whether this is inside or outside of boxing see someone try to better themselves is a massive success on it own. ‘
We Are Welcoming Hundreds Of Young People Into 4 Different Sections!
The Hunslet Club timetable continues to expand, and this month there is space for hundreds of newcomers in 5 different sections including: rugby, dance, boxing and ballet.
All sessions are just £1.50, so it is the perfect way to try your little ones out with a new sport/hobby with no commitment or booking needed. The most important thing to keep in mind at The Hunslet Club is that if you’re a newcomer, we prioritise 3 things. First, The Hunslet Club is a melting pot and a great way to meet new people. So, we always encourage making new friends. Second, we want you to learn new skills. With our professional sport and dance coaches you are guaranteed a high quality training session no matter which one you attend, so your going to learn something new. Third and finally, it is most important that attendees have fun!
There are spaces for children of all ages and abilities in the following sessions; Beginners Dance (age 5 to 8), Beginners dance (age 9+), Boxing for Tots (18 months to 5 years), Ballet beginners, Rugby for Reception year 1, 2 and 3. To join us, simply come along and get involved! There is no booking or commitment needed.
Senior Youth Club 1 Year Celebration
We had a great turn out last night at our Senior Youth Club Celebration. This event was for all young people in year 7 and above. As always, this event was completely free and our youth club attendees were welcome to come and go as they pleased, as well as take part in a range of activities throughout the course of the evening.
The activities and entertainment on hand were a great hit including mocktail making, a pizza buffet, dance off, DJ set, pool, air hockey tournaments, outdoor football and more.
The success of our youth club over the last 12 months has been partly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund who have made an enormous difference to the amount of opportunities we can provide. This funding paired with our club, staff, volunteers and community has created a safe space for young people in our area like no other. It is an essential space in ensuring young people can reach their full potential.
Youth Club Self Defence Class
On Friday the 20th of May, Stand Against Violence came to our senior youth club to lead a free self-defence session for all young people who are in year 7 and above. 14 young people attended the session voluntarily with a good mix of both boys and girls involved. Despite being somewhat nervous and hesitant at the start of the session the SAV instructor has some great warm ups and topics of discussion which got everyone involved.
SAV have more upcoming workshops here at the club and we can’t wait to see what they have in store. Follow us on social media @The_Hunslet_Youth_Club for the announcement of the date which our street first aid workshop will take place!
Jason Robinson Returns to The Hunslet Club!
On May 18th, OBE, Jason Robinson returned to his hometown here in Leeds. Jason began coming to The Hunslet Club as a young child, where he took up rugby for the first time, and continued to prosper in the sport. He reminds us that young people in our community can achieve anything they set their mind to, as long as the opportunity is there to match their drive and determination. He revisited his home town and club in celebration of the CreatedBy funding awards that have been given to fund more opportunities for young people in and around South Leeds. These were given in collaboration with the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and The National Lottery. This funding is essential and guaranteed to make more quality sport sessions available to our local young people.
On this visit, he led our girls under 16’s rugby session and what a brilliant opportunity it was for this young team. They had a fantastic time picking up new skills, and taking words of advice and wisdom from a professional rugby league player and former England team captain! The girls were definitely inspired to prosper in the sport after seeing the reality of the success that could be ahead. It’s great to be able to see that the needs of the young people in the south Leeds area getting more exposure and recognition. Brighter futures for all Leeds youth are on the horizon!
The Hunslet Club Rogues Perform SIX:The Musical
This weekend our Hunslet Club Rogues put on two fantastic performances of SIX:The Musical. The audience were absolutely blown away by our young actors and actresses, who put hours of extra time and energy into perfecting their characters and songs. The witty humour, clever lyricism and sassy dance numbers, paired with our talented performers was the perfect recipe for a brilliantly captivating production. Around 230 people from our community came out over the two nights to come and see the show. Both evenings finished with everyone coming together and discussing the performance with outstandingly positive feedback!
We want to say a huge thank you to these intelligent young people who really gave it their all. Our Rogues never fail to impress alongside professional acting/voice/dance coaches, Joe and Addy. A huge thank you from us to everyone involved including: The Rogues, coaches, production team, Hunslet Club staff, volunteers and everyone who contributed or came to watch on the night.