South Leeds: New project to give children a boost in sport and work

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Children around the Hunslet area will be getting active in the worlds of sports and industry thanks to the new community partnership between the Hunslet Hawks and Gibbs and Dandy builders.

The new partnership will be working with South Leeds schools, sports clubs and community groups to provide sporting and employment opportunities.

Andy Hemmingway, commercial director for the rugby league team, said: “We’re focused on helping disadvantaged young people to get healthy and get work.

“We’ll be actively looking to provider local engineering scholarships and building apprenticeships to help them get trained and give them trades.”

The 131-year-old Hunslet Hawks are building on their long history at the centre of the community while new arrivals in the area, Gibbs and Dandy, are also looking to get as involved.

Phil Hodgson, The Hawks’ community director, said: “At one end of the spectrum we will be promoting healthy lifestyles and delivering training sessions in schools.

“At the other we have a celebration of our heritage; our Evening with the Stars of Yesteryear and our planned heritage museum.”

Work with the Beeston Broncos, Hunslet’s dance academy and the South Leeds Sisters’ running group will be the starting point for the new projects focused on health, clean communities and opportunities.

Just like the partners themselves, older people in South Leeds will be encouraged to pass their health and fitness tips, including indoor bowling skills, onto children and young people to make the most of their experience.

Darren Hoyland, branch manager for Gibbs and Dandy in Pudsey, said: “At first we planned a fairly straightforward sponsorship, then after some talking we decided to do something a bit more grassroots oriented.

“The Hunslet Hawks are one of the best clubs in the league for helping the community.

“We’re quite a new business in the area, we believe in being local.”

As well as well as building up the community, construction company Gibbs and Dandy are looking to build up the Hawks’ support.

Darren said: “I want to get schools involved, help young fans while building the young fanbase, get the club back in 
the Superleague where we belong.

“We have a great little opportunity here.

“For the future we’re looking at apprenticeships and opportunities, in the long term we’re going to get together with Leeds Building College.”

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