For almost a decade, Leeds Rhinos Foundation has invited junior rugby league players from across Leeds to take part in their Outdoor Adventure Programme at Herd Farm Activity Centre.
The three-day residential allows the Rhinos’ Ambassador clubs to nominate players who they feel will benefit most from the experience, such as children with low self-esteem or those who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to experience outdoor activities
Last week, programme sponsors Gill and Geoff Caplan visited the latest group of children to take part in the scheme, which is something the couple say they are still extremely proud to support.
“It does our hearts good to see these kids enjoying the other side of life, and it gives them reason to step out of their comfort zone and get on,” said Geoff. “We came from this community, which is why we want to put back now and give them a chance to succeed.”
“I admire the clubs for selecting those children they feel will benefit the most through this unique opportunity, which is what pleases us so much about the programme.”
Added Gill: “We watched the boys going downhill on the mountainboards, and although they would eventually fall off it was great to watch them helping each other up off the ground and bonding with each other. I thought that was just lovely to see.”
For the first time, the 2019 cohort also included a group of girls rugby league players as the programme continues to provide unforgettable, life-changing experiences for children from across the city.
“It’s fantastic that for the first time we’ve had a girls group with us and I think it’s about time to tried to look to expand with two weeks- one week for girls and one for boys.
“Supporting the Outdoor Adventure Programme with Leeds Rhinos Foundation is a real pleasure for us and hopefully we can continue to do so for many years to come.”
Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, Bob Bowman added: “We have massive gratitude to Gill and Geoff for their continued support. They’re hugely keen Rhinos and Rugby League fans in general; they like to see the growth of the game and more people taking part in it, so it’s a lovely link to see their enthusiasm for the sport combined with helping others.
“We’d love to grow the Outdoor Adventure Programme and we’d love to know if there are any more willing sponsors out there, because with more funding we’d definitely bring more young people along to Herd Farm in the future to enjoy this wonderful experience.”
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