Leeds Akkies RLFC and Leeds Rugby Foundation staged a hugely successful gala day of rugby league at Old Modernians on Sunday, raising £448.35 for the Annabelle Rose Trust.
Share Masters teams from the host club, Farnley Falcons, West Leeds Eagles and Ossett Trinity all took part in the Annabelle Rose Challenge, along with players from Wetherby Bulldogs, Milford Marlins and Blackpool Stanley. Each player donated a £5 match fee towards the trust fund which was set up to provide six-year-old Annabelle, who was born with Quadriplegic Spastic Cerebral Palsy, with life-changing treatment to enable her to walk.
The day began with a junior rugby league taster session conducted by Leeds Rugby Foundation Development Manager Sam Horner, which was attended by local youngsters as well as members of the neighbouring North Leeds Leopards Junior Rugby League Club, whilst the 500+ players and supporters in attendance at the Cookridge venue were also treated to special visits by Ronnie the Rhino and the Engage Super League trophy.
Annabelle's proud dad, Akkies centre Ben Wardleworth, was overwhelmed by the support of all of his fellow masters players: "It was a great effort and a fabulous day. All the rugby lads have choked me a little as they are all somewhat of a 'family' and so willing to muck in for a good cause."
His enthusiasm was shared by Horner, who added: "There's a genuine camaraderie between Masters players in Leeds. It's fantastic that our sport can bring people together in this way and a credit to the host club for staging such a fantastic event."