Welcome to The Hunslet Club June 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 June!
Over 800 Young People Play At The Hunslet Club Football Gala!
This year’s Hunslet Club Football Gala took place on Sunday the 12th of June. The day began at 9:00AM when the young grassroots teams from all over West Yorkshire came together to compete against others in several 8 minute matches. In addition to the tournament taking place across 9 different pitches. A range of family fun activities were made available around the club and car park. Here, there was a barbecue, inflatables, games, stalls, bouncy castles, music and a stand to celebrate and receive medals/trophies.
It was great to see the young footballers demonstrate such brilliant sportsmanship. With every game came a relationship with a new team, and lots of the attendees even made new friends on the sidelines. Our coaches and volunteers ensured the day ran smoothly ensuring every player got to perform to the best of their ability. Hundreds of parents, supporters, friends and family cheered from the sidelines as they watched each action packed game commence.
Our coaches, volunteers, staff and teams went above and beyond to make the day so special. The football gala is so important to all of the young people who attend. Every year we prioritise making memories, creating opportunities and building new relationships. Moreover, all proceeds go towards providing 35 affordable football sessions for young people in our community each week.
A huge thank you to all teams who came along: Millifields Green, Garforth Rangers, Hunslet FC, Millfields White. Chapeltown, Howden Clough Leeds West FC, Yorkshire Amateurs, North East Leeds, Tingley Athletic, Methley United, Rothwell Girls, Churwell Lions. Wortley, LS27, Rothwell Juniors, Horsforth, Rothwell Town Reds, Whitkirk, Swillington, Leeds Jrs, Morley Glenn, Selby Town and Normanton Town.
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 Hunslet 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 explained 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 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 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 seeing someone try to better themselves is a massive success on it own. ‘
A Trip to Ninja Warrior UK
Another youth club trip happened on the 9th of June. This time, our youth committee, who are regular club attendees and volunteers came together with our youth workers, to decide on a reward for their outstanding behaviour over the last 3 months (since our last trip) . 15 young people were selected to take part in the celebration. After speaking to our youth team and committee they decided on the perfect opportunity; Ninja Warrior, Leeds. This, like the popular TV show puts your cognitive skills and athleticism to the test, with its extremely difficult obstacles and team games.
These guys got stuck in to every activity, having fun and helping their team mates complete each challenge. That, along with some healthy competition, made the day a great success as all involved were able to take part and give it a go. They finished the trip with a bounce on the inflatables and a some drinks and snacks. We love providing fun opportunities like this to young people, and cant wait to start planning the next one!
Good News! This month, our Hunslet Club Rogues have decided on their next performance and they are currently taking on new actors and actresses who would love to take on a new role. They recently decided that for the next few months, they will be working on ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’. This will be performed near the end of the year and is guaranteed to be highly anticipated after the last performance of ‘SIX’ which was a great hit with all who came along.
In June, we celebrated world food month as part of youth club. This was a great idea by our youth workers to ensure attendees would have fun, while simultaneously learning about different foods and cultures. We began week one with Italian food. Here, our youth team were able to provide workshops where young people made a selection of pizzas, pastas and flat breads. We also covered Italian history and land marks while each attendee customised their dishes/breads with a selection of traditional toppings, herbs and spices.
In the weeks to come, we did the same exercises for other countries/places. This included China, India and The Caribbean. During this time, our young people did a fantastic job of cooking up a wide and very diverse range of dishes including, noodles, stir fries, curries, chicken wings, smoothies and more. We found that for many, doing an exercise like cooking while learning about history and culture helped make the process of taking in new information more engaging and interesting, as they got to immerse themselves in something new.
This idea was a great success and it definitely got the seal of approval from our youth committee who enjoyed trying new food and learning about the traditions and history of other cultures.
The Beginnings Of Our Garden And Green Space!
Every last part of our club and facilities are always in use during the evening provision. This is great news, as hundreds of young people are able to take on new opportunities every evening. However, it also means we are running out of space for new ventures. Luckily, we have a small area of grass between our football pitches, which could be put to good use!
The new garden will serve as not only as a great area to educate young people on the environment, caring for animals and growing organic plants and foods. It is also the perfect project for our youth committee/youth club volunteers to be responsible for a great transformation project. The idea behind the green space is that we will be introducing new weekly sessions which will involve unique learning opportunities. In addition to plants and fruit and veg, the young people who get involved will also have the opportunity to help us raise chickens and learn all about caring for animals.
Our first sessions began at the end of June. We began digging up a path to make the space more accessible. It was fantastic to see everyone getting stuck in, motivated to work towards a goal that will benefit our wider community with bigger opportunities for young people.