On Monday 19th December 52 brave people completed the unbelievable task of walking over hot coals to raise funds for the Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Mencap. Within the cohort were Rhinos’ players Rob Burrow and Paul McShane, 3 of the Leeds Rugby Foundation’s very own team, Jonny Wainhouse, Sam Horner and Mark Shutt and the star of the show Ronnie the Rhino!
Whilst the nervous participants underwent their 2 hours of training, their friends and families enjoyed mulled wine, fire jugglers, a bouncy castle and carols from the wonderful Off By Heart Choir which gives adults with a learning disability the opportunity to enjoy music and the Free Range Choir. Both are local choirs kindly gave up their time for free to support the event.
The fire was lit and by 8pm Jake Yapp from BBC Radio Leeds had the crowd cheering for the daring folk who would be walking on fire shortly! The fiery trail looked awesome in the darkness as those taking part gathered for the climax of the night. One by one each person courageously made their way across the burning coals until only Ronnie remained. Before he walked, Ronnie did his customary “worm” and then strode bravely across to the delight of the crowd.
The event was a huge success with each participant raising at least £100 to take part in this daring trial. Lucy Young, Manager at Leeds Rugby Foundation said, “We are so very grateful to all those who took part in such a daredevil challenge and helped raise such a wonderful amount for these two local charities. Both the Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Mencap support the people of Leeds and this event will help us to do even more of that fantastic work.”