Leeds Rhinos coaching staff Brian McClennan, Francis Cummins and Willie Poching, along with coaching staff from the Leeds Rugby Foundation, had a day away from their usual duties yesterday as they head to the HAMARA Healthy Living Centre in South Leeds.
They met community leaders and members of the local community to find out how they can help build better communities together through the medium of rugby, education and health. The event was organised by ‘Connecting Communities’, a Project under the auspices of the Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Metropolitan University, which is being led by former England Rugby League international Ikram Butt along with Starr Zaman in partnership with HAMARA.
HAMARA is an Urdu term meaning ‘OURS’, reflecting the local community involvement in the centre. Over 17.000 people reside in the immediate catchment area, with high unemployment, low educational attainment and poor health faced by many residents. The ‘Connecting Communities’ Project, along with HAMARA, offers a variety of services to the community of Leeds with a particular focus on the BME communities.
Leeds Rugby Foundation General Manager Chris Rostron led the delegation to the HAMARA Centre and presented a signed Leeds Rhinos shirt to Hanif Malik, HAMARA Director, to wish the Muslim community of Leeds a Happy Ramadan, before the group enjoyed a lunch of traditional food.
Connecting Communities Manager Ikram Butt commented, "We are delighted that coaching staff from Leeds Rhinos and the Leeds Rugby Foundation are reaching out and engaging with the wider communities of Leeds, which will undoubtedly raise aspirations among the local community and inspire people of all ages."