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22 May

Charities coming together for city’s biggest free event

This summer Headingley Stadium will once again host Leeds’ biggest free event when the annual Children’s Day returns on Sunday 19th July.

Children’s Day, which has been held annually at Headingley Stadium since 2008, will see local charities the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Leeds Rugby Foundation come together to host the spectacular free event, with the support from the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police.

Since its origins, when the event was originally held at Roundhay Park from 1922 to 1963, the day has remained a big draw for people in the region and after its re-birth in 2008 has regularly brought over 6,000 people to the stadium.

Now one of the biggest and most popular free events in the city, Children’s Day has attracted thousands of visitors to Headingley Carnegie Stadium in recent years with activities for all the family including cricket, rugby and football tournaments, face painters and bouncy castles plus attractions hosted by Yorkshire based organisations such as the Royal Armouries, Snozone, Manic Science, Lightwater Valley and many more.

The event will be attended by the Leeds Rhinos squad and stars from the Yorkshire County Cricket squad. Rhinos star Danny McGuire joined team mate Carl Ablett for the launch of this year’s Children’s Day and said he was looking forward to attending the event.

“It’s brilliant to see the Leeds Rhinos host and support a free event for the people of Leeds every year like Children’s Day,” said McGuire.

“Each year we see people from all backgrounds and areas of the city along with all the local businesses and organisations joining in to provide such a fun and memorable event for so many people.

“The event seems to get bigger every year and it’s a pleasure to come down and support it and I’ll certainly be there in July to enjoy the day with hopefully another big crowd.”

Jonny Wainhouse, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Community Manager, added:

“Leeds Rhinos Foundation this year were awarded the Best Overall Contributor in the Child Friendly Leeds awards for their work in helping make the city a better place to grow up and Children’s Day is a key part of that and we are proud to be able to put on this huge event for the children of Leeds. Not only is Headingley a special stadium that incorporates three sports teams, but it is also a place of real significance to the Leeds community and it is the perfect venue for an event like this that brings everyone together.

“We get some very young children here with their parents, who will remember this day for years to come. There is something for everyone to come and enjoy. With the event being free and accessible to all, it continues to honour the memory of Garry Chappelow in a really special way.”

Yorkshire Cricket Foundation Project Officer Nick Robinson commented:

“Children’s Day 2015 is going to be bigger and better than ever. With even more diverse activities and attractions to enjoy; from sports to face painting, from education to crafts it promises to be another fantastic event for men, women and children of all ages!”

The resurrection of Children’s Day seven years ago came on the back of the efforts of the family and friends of the late Garry Chappelow, whose tragic death in 2002 saw the creation of the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund to help develop junior sport at Grass Roots Level throughout the city of Leeds.

As a youngster Garry would attend the event regularly and with the support of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation the event was revived in honour on Garry’s memory to provide a day of sports and activities for the children of Leeds.

Speaking on behalf of the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund Les Marshall commented:

“From 1922 until the sixties Children’s Day was a massive occasion, funded by the Yorkshire Evening Post and organised by local teachers. Pupils from just about every school in Leeds congregated in Roundhay Park arena for dancing, displays and sports.

“There was a Children’s Day Queen and attendants, a fancy dress parade and a bonny baby competition. We are delighted that since the event was reintroduced in 2008 it has become such a success and once again a fixture in the city’s calendar of events.”

Children’s Day 2015 takes place on Sunday 19th July. The gates for the 2015 event will open at 10.30am and close at 4pm; Admission is completely free for everyone, as are the activities when inside the ground.

For more information on getting involved in Children’s Day 2015 contact: nick.robinson@yorkshireccc.com

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