Summer camps make safe comeback

Leeds Rhinos Foundation hosted their first Multi-Sports Fun Camp of the year at Old Leos Rugby Club last week.

The camp, which was attended by 75 primary school children from the Leeds 17 area, saw youngsters enjoy the chance to take part in a fun-filled week of multi-sports activities.

As for many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly disruptive and challenging period for Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s community team and they were delighted to be back safely delivering this camp, with each session carefully following government guidelines and social distancing procedures followed throughout the week.

Despite changes to their delivery, Head of Community and Engagement Gareth Cook was delighted with how the team adapted to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

“Obviously due to COVID-19 we’ve had to significantly change our planned delivery model and instead of working with 150 children we’ve had to cap it at 75,” explained Cook. “Other factors like staying in small bubbles and working with the same coach, not sharing packed lunches and a one-way loop system have all been implemented but our staff have dealt with it all brilliantly.

“Even under the guidelines it’s provided that little bit of normality for the kids, with the fact that they can come get out and play with other children. Over time, they might have spent a lot of time indoors, especially doing their school work virtually on tablets or laptops, so this gives them the chance to leave all their technology at home and come out in the fresh air to keep fit and active during the holidays.”

With schools having once again closed for the summer holidays, the camp also provided vital provision for parents continuing to work throughout the pandemic. The camp was very well received by parents, including Matt Ryder, whose son’s Benjamin and Austin were attending a multi-sports camp for the first time.

“The boys have absolutely loved coming down and the coaches have been great with them,” said Ryder. “They didn’t really want to be picked up to be honest on the first day!”

“One of the key reasons we wanted them to do this is because the last few months of lockdown have been so difficult and this was a great opportunity on our doorstep for them to get out and be active from nine o’clock until three o’clock, have fun, meet new friends and come home happy feeling like they’ve done some physical exercise.

“They’ve done all sorts of activities from cricket to rugby and dodgeball. The benefit for me is that it’s not just the same thing every day, they’re doing different things throughout the week and learning loads of new skills.”

A second Multi-Sports Camp will run at Old Leos from Monday 17th until Thursday 20th August, with both camps kindly subsidised through the support of the Alwoodley Councillors- Cllr Cohen, Cllr Buckley and Cllr Harrand.

For more information on our programme of Multi-Sports Fun Camps, please contact