Outward Bound ‘Thank You’ Lunch

Leeds Rugby Foundation held a highly successful lunch in the Taverners Suite at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to commemorate the successful conclusion of their initial Outward Bound scheme.

The project, run in association with local community clubs, saw almost 50 youngsters travel to Wales for the experience of a lifetime.

The Outward Bound lunch was the closing event for the 2011 participants and was attended by the sponsors, including law firm Irwin Mitchell, Gary Hetherington CEO Leeds Rugby and the members of the Leeds Rugby Foundation team who supervised it.

Three of the participants were present to share their reminiscences and there was a looped slideshow of all the activities put together by Leeds Rhinos Club Development Officer Sam Horner

Paul Rowson, Executive Chairman of the Leeds Rugby Foundation talked about its role in the community and trustee Bob Bowman, Youth Crime Reduction Officer at Leeds Community Safety, who was involved in the event from the beginning, then spoke about the importance of such activities and why he got involved in the first place.

“I know that when a project is set up through Leeds Rugby Foundation, it will deliver. We’d like to be able to do more initiatives like this for more kids,” he said.

Nick Bates, Leeds Regional Managing Partner, Irwin Mitchell added, “Engaging with the community and individuals is very important to us and that is why we felt this project was so worthwhile. Leeds Rugby and the Outward Bound Trust have great reputations. It is not easy for young people at the moment – this course demonstrates the value of teamwork and encourages them to do things out of their comfort zones – something that is valuable in the world of work.”

Participant Jack Marsden who was at Oulton Raiders at the time but has now joined Methley commented, “I found it hard but really loved it. It was much more than I expected and I made a load of new friends,” While Stanningley’s Shaun Connolly noted, “It really pushed me – I didn’t even mind when I fell in the sea whilst trying to cross between two landing stages by a rope.”

The afternoon was capped off by everyone being able to have their photos taken with the Super League Trophy.
Gary Hetherington, summed up the afternoon, “This has been an inspirational project, not only for the youngsters but for the many others involved in the Leeds Rugby Foundation. In time of economic recession this has been a ray of sunshine and excitement. It is nice to make a difference, and this has made a big difference. Thanks to Irwin Mitchell and all those involved including the private sponsors who made it happen.”

The project will go ahead again in 2012 after all the backers agreed to renew their sponsorship.