Rio fun and games for Leeds families at Meanwood Olympics

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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The sights, sounds and sport of Rio are on offer for families in Meanwood throughout the summer.

The fifth Meanwood Olympics got under way last week with its cycling event. Youngsters took part in their own Tour de Meanwood with the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Gerry Harper, getting in on the action.

And the ‘Olympics’, like their real-life counterpart, will continue during August at Woodhouse Cricket Club on Meanwood Road every Wednesday from 11.30am to 3pm.

Organiser and community development worker Maureen Lillywhite said almost 200 children and their families had attended last Wednesday to enjoy the cycling and a wide range of other activities.

She praised the area’s community spirit and work of agencies, businesses and volunteers, including the local police, Lloyds bank, Yorkshire Building Society, youth service and health centre.

Maureen said: “It happens because of a lot of good will and volunteers.”

August 10 will have a multi-sport Olympic theme, with the Usain Bolts of the future competing in track and field events, dodgeball, cricket, tennis, and there will be a climbing wall.

On August 17, street dance organised by Leeds Breakers and circus skills will be on offer, and August 24, will channel the Rio Carnival spirit with zumba, music, instrument-making and a parade.

Events are free and there are trophies and medals for youngsters who take part in competitions or who show themselves to be keen or helpful.

Maureen started the Meanwood Olympics in 2012 at the time of the London games, and it has become an annual event.

InterAct, the area’s church and community partnership, funded the event for the first time. The Revererend Angela Hughes, of Stainbeck United Reformed Church, said: “It’s a highlight of the holidays.”

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