Awards mark historic south Leeds club’s 75th anniversary milestone

25 march 2012.'Dancers taking part in a street dance competition at The Hunslet Club yesterday (sunday).
25 march 2012.'Dancers taking part in a street dance competition at The Hunslet Club yesterday (sunday).
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A celebration of members and volunteers has helped to mark the 75th anniversary of the Hunslet Club.

Around 160 people attended the club’s first Review of the Year Awards on Friday, including former member and ex-England rugby star Jason Robinson, politician Hilary Benn and Hanif Malik, chief executive of the Hamara Centre.

Rugby legend Jason Robinson with Dennis Robins, chief executive of the Hunslet Club.

Rugby legend Jason Robinson with Dennis Robins, chief executive of the Hunslet Club.

Volunteers showcased club activities such as boxing, gymnastics and football before awards were presented to volunteers who have invested time in each area.

The club’s historic Club Captain Award was also resurrected as a new Club Ambassador Award after 20 years, with members Jake Griggs and Keeley Haigh scooping the prize.

Andrea Edwards, operations manager at the club, told the YEP: “We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and we have 130 on our books at the moment.

“We see generations of volunteers as well, people who come here as members as children and are now volunteers.”

A Hunslet Club rugby team in the early 1980s.

A Hunslet Club rugby team in the early 1980s.

The awards night was the first in a series of celebratory events lined up to mark the historic club’s milestone.

The club will unveil a brand new lion mascot, called Wylie, at a meeting of its youth club on May 6, ahead of the club’s summer gala on July 11 and a planned reunion for former members later in the year.

Andrea added: “We want to do more of the same, we’d like to deliver more activities in more locations to reach more people in the south Leeds community.”

Founded by GP Dr John Wyllie as Hunslet Boys Club in 1940, it initially provided activities for teenagers running messages between air raid shelters and first aid centres during the Second World War.

The club has remained a pillar of the community since then, opening to both boys and girls in the 1980s. It now has more than 2,300 members compared to just 150 in 2000.

Visit hunsletclub.org.uk for further information.

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