Leeds Children’s Day event set to steal the show

Leeds Children's Day at Headingley Stadium last year.
Leeds Children's Day at Headingley Stadium last year.
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Children in Leeds will be celebrated at a special annual event later this month.

The city’s Children’s Day is to be held at Headingley Stadium on Sunday July 27 from 10.30am-3pm.

The event was first held in Leeds in 1922 and was typically held on the first Saturday of July when youngsters gathered for dancing, displays and sport in Roundhay Park and was one the biggest festivals of childhood anywhere across Britain.

In spite of its success the event was cancelled in 1963 following a series of wet summers – but was resurrected by the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund in 2008.

Les Marshall, of the fund, said: “Thousands of people would flock to Soldiers’ Field at Roundhay Park for the day. In 1946, just after the Second World War, it was reported that 96,000 people attended.”

Now it is run by the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Leeds Rugby Foundation with support from Garry’s fund, Leeds City Council, Leeds United Foundation and West Yorkshire Police who also use the event to deliver their open day.

Sporting children’s clubs across Leeds benefit from funds.

The day first arose as a fundraiser for the Leeds Poor Children’s Holiday Camp Association. It was the brainchild of Archie Gordon, headteacher of Lower Wortley Council School, who proposed a mass carnival to encourage more children to take part in sports.

Fun activities planned this year include zumba, martial arts, wheelchair rugby, bubble football, handball, hockey, speed gun challenge, archery and Go Ape.

There will also be a sports tournament, live music and the chance to explore a police crime scene.

Families can also watch Ronnie the Rhino and Terry the Terrier battle it out in the mascot Race.

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