Leeds Hyde Park FC inspires student's pledge to run a mile for every £25 donated

A Leeds student is preparing for a marathon fundraiser in support of a local club that strives to give children from all backgrounds the chance to play sport.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 6:00 am

Alex Lewis, 25, will run as many as 30 laps of Woodhouse Moor in Hyde Park after pledging to run a mile for every £25 donated towards his £750 target.

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The proceeds of his fundraising challenge on June 5 will go to Leeds Hyde Park FC, a community club that sponsors children who are unable to afford to play sports anywhere else.

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Leeds student Alex Lewis will complete as many as 30 laps of Woodhouse Moor after pledging to run a mile for every £25 donated to his fundraising appeal. Picture: James Hardisty

Alex said its ethos of giving local children the opportunity to get involved in sport - no matter their background - had struck a chord.

"I felt that this particular charity was very special and different in terms of what the owner had managed to do in three or four years," he said.

"One of the reasons the charity was started was because there weren't that many opportunities for local sports in and around the area and it can be quite expensive.

"The whole idea is that anyone no matter where you’re from, even if you haven't got the finances, you can still come and play, which is fantastic.

The proceeds of the fundraising challenge on June 5 will go to Leeds Hyde Park FC, a community club opening up opportunities to young people regardless of their family's finances. Picture: James Hardisty

"Covid hit parents quite hard financially but they can get their kids involved in sports for free as the charity sponsors parents and families that can’t afford.”

Alex also emphasised the importance of getting children back outside after a year in lockdown.

He said: "It's been particularly hard on kids who haven't been able to see their friends but most importantly have had online learning which isn't as stimulating or fun.

"I think the last year has been tough on kids and this is a good opportunity for them to mix with people their own age, get involved with playing sports, and building up friendships and skills."

Alex Lewis in training at Woodhouse Moor ahead of his fundraising challenge. Picture: James Hardisty

The club was formed in 2017 and now has multiple boys teams, more than four men's teams and a women's team.

It wants to expand further and create a community feel among the families, students and workers in the Hyde Park area by getting more people to play football and other sports together.

Its committee is hoping to have teams playing football league games and to introduce new sports such as tennis and basketball in the coming year.

If those plans are to be realised though, the club needs funding to invest in equipment, football kits, pitch hire and events.

Anyone who wants to donate can do so online via the Alex's Fundraiser for Leeds Hyde Park FC page on the gofundme.com website.

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