Olympic summer fun for Leeds families

CARRYING A TORCH: Maureen Lilywhite and her enthusiastic young Meanwood athletes.
CARRYING A TORCH: Maureen Lilywhite and her enthusiastic young Meanwood athletes.
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Hundreds of sports-mad youngsters have been taking part in an Olympics style tournament this summer.

Meanwood Olympics has returned for the sixth year and is a free event, held each Wednesday of the school holidays, for kids of all ages and their families to get involved in.

It has been attracting around 250 people per week and last week one of the participants was 90 years old.

There is golf, table tennis, rounders, hurdles, egg and spoon races and more.

Meanwood Olympics are staged by Interact which is a partnership between the area’s four churches and the local community.

It is funded by Leeds City Council and this year has also been boosted by staff from Lloyds Bank and Yorkshire Building Society who have been volunteering and helping out at the Wednesday sessions as part of a corporate scheme.

Maureen Lilywhite is the community development worker for Interact.

She said: “We started calling it the Meanwood Olympics when the games were in London and now everyone knows it as that. Kids talk about it for months before it happens.”

The idea behind the scheme is to provide holiday fun for children and families who may not otherwise get access to such activities.

Mrs Lilywhite added: “It is pretty much getting people outside, having fun as a family.

“Anybody can come, but the original idea was that there is the whole package of sport but also a family could have one day out in the week for free and didn’t have to spend any money if they didn’t want to.”

On the last Wednesday in August the Olympics is on the move and has a trip to the seaside with a coach heading to Whitby for the day with costs donated by the community.