Active Leeds charity fundraising effort- In aid of the special baby unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Last Friday Active Leeds held a very special event at John Charles Centre for Sport, to kick start their fundraising efforts for the Special Baby Unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Colleagues from across the service came together to take part in a variety of team challenges including both physical and mental tasks. Six teams competed to be crowned the first Active Leeds Team Challenge Champions. Challenges included Mastermind, Sumo Sprint, Leaky Pipe and Ski OLand.

Charity Fundraiser image One

A huge thanks goes to all of our colleagues and partners who assisted on the day including Breeze Leeds and Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United, John Lewis and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation for their generous donations. Special thanks also goes to the team at the John Charles Centre.

Active Leeds Partnership Manager and organiser of the event, Neil Jones commented on the fundraiser:

“The event itself was hotly contested as you would expect from the most active department within Leeds City Council, but at the end of the day it was all about raising funds and awareness around Neonatal Care.”

Active Leeds Fundraiser Image 3

Fundraising is set to continue with events and activities planned to maximise charitable donations. the final challenge will be a 100 mile foot race along Hadrian’s Wall in May 2019. Competing will be Neil our partnership manager who has personally been touched by the care and attentions of the staff at the Neonatal Unit.

The events have a target of raising 20k before the end of May, providing the unit with a much needed incubator to enhance the already wonderful care they offer families with premature infants.

To Donate:

Charity fundraiser Image 2


Gemma’s Story

Have you ever got to that point where enough is enough and you know something has to change? I got to that point at the start of last year. I have been overweight all my life and I have struggled to find a way to manage it effectively. I had recently started a new job and I was fed up of having to make excuses as to why I couldn’t take the stairs or keep up with people when going to meetings. I decided to go to my doctor and ask to be referred to weight management. At the same time I was given a blood test and told that I was extremely close to a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. That scared me as I knew it runs in the family and it is something I really wanted to avoid.

Walking into my first Weigh Ahead session at the John Charles Centre for Sport was the best decision I ever made. I was supported from day 1 and I was actually fearful of what would happen after I had completed my 8 week classroom and gym sessions. I was worried I would slip into old habits like I had done before. I was so relieved when I heard about the Moving On programme, knowing that the support wouldn’t  just disappear.

Gemma_good news story

Over this last year I have worked really hard and I can’t believe how far I have come. I now go to the gym at least 3 days a week and aqua aerobics once a week. I can keep up with friends and don’t feel like I am holding others back any more. In fact I am usually the one saying we should take the stairs instead of the lift.

Physically my health is much better. I have lost a total of 6st 2lb in just 12 months. I have also had a recent blood test and I am back in the normal ranges, meaning I am no longer at immediate risk of Type 2 Diabetes, although I will still have to have annual checks to monitor this. I feel like I have been given a new shot at life.

For those of you who have been following my progress you will know I did a 10km charity walk back in August. Now I want to push myself further and feel it only fitting that Diabetes UK should be my charity of choice. I have seen loved ones battle with this disease, both type 1 and type 2. There isn’t a day goes by that you can forget you are Diabetic, yet they never let it hold them back. They are my inspiration and help push me forward.

Because of this I have set myself a huge challenge, both personal and financial. On Saturday 7th May I will be completing a 50km challenge at the John  Charles Centre for Sport, where it all began for me. Over the course of between 3 and 4 hours I will cycle and use the crosstrainer to complete a distance further than a marathon. Never did I think I would be excited of that prospect, but I am.

To show your support please visit my just giving page at or text GEMB62 and your donation amount to 70070. Every penny means more to me than you will know, as I never thought a year ago I could, or I would, ever be able to do something like this. Now I believe anything is possible.

Thank you each and every one of you for your support, financial and emotional. It is this that helps push me further, to become a better, lighter and healthier me.


Leeds Disability Sport News- September 2015

Please see below for the latest disability sport news in and around Leeds this month:

In Leeds

  • Leeds Rugby World Cup Fanzone has kicked off on Millennium Square in the city centre. A variety of rugby themed and generic activities are available to the public for the next few weeks, as well as specific slots for disabled children and adult groups. Contact for further information about these.
  • Leeds Disability Sports Camp will next be running during October half term, from Monday 26th to Friday 30th. These are suitable for disabled children and young people aged 8 to 18 years old, plus non-disabled siblings and friends, and take place at five different venues across the city.
  • Leeds Deaf Juniors FC have released details of their football coaching sessions from now until July 2016. Sessions are for boys and girls aged 3 to 16 years old of all ability levels.

Outside Leeds

  • Celebrating Ability Week is taking place in York from the 26th October to the 1st November, with a variety sporting opportunities available for children and adults with disabilities.

Finally, a reminder that to view a comprehensive list of all of the disability sport activities going on across Leeds in one place, please download the Leeds Disability Sport Programme. This a hub of all the activities going on in the city run by all the key providers. You can access this via our website or please email if you would like a copy sending.

Leeds Disability Sport News- May 2015

In Leeds

  • Adapted Cycling has re-started at Herd Farm Activity Centre in North Leeds. Sessions take place on Saturday afternoons from 1:00-2.30 pm on the purpose built outdoor cycling area and are suitable for disabled children, young people and adults of all ages, plus non-disabled siblings and friends.
  • Leeds Schools Boccia & New Age Kurling competition is taking place on Thursday 4 June at the John Charles Centre for Sport.
  • Disability Archery day is being held at Cockburn School by South Leeds Archers. This is taking place on Saturday 13 June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm and is available to disabled people of all ages and ability levels.
  • Sky Ride Leeds will be taking place on Sunday 14 June in the city centre. Incorporating a 6.5k traffic free loop from the Headrow, there will also be a shorter accessible route with adapted cycles to use.
  • Leeds Disability Sports Camps in the Summer will be held in the weeks beginning 3 and 24 August 2015. An application form and further details will be available shortly via:

Outside Leeds

  • Disability Sports & Family Day is taking place on Saturday 4 July at Castleford RUFC ground. Further details on twitter via #disabilitysportsfamilyday and @CastlefordRUFC1
  • Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament is taking place in Bradford from 17 to 21 August. Players with and without a learning or physical disability will come together from ten countries to take part. Further details about the tournament and information on how to pledge support are also on the website link.

Touch Rugby Leeds

Another awesome night of game with some outstanding efforts from teams.

Week 6 games started with the Angry Owls continuing their impressive form with a victory over the Turn Up & Play B team.

The following game saw the current champions Peanut Slabs drop points against an ever improving Heart Breakers, at full strength a difficult team to control.

Belle Isle Warriors are always a threat and are quietly gaining positive results with a clinical win over the Turn Up & Play A side.

The last match of the night and the highlighted “game of the week” saw Leeds Bar and Well Oiled Flanges swapping the lead until the sides eventually ended up sharing the honours.

“Question for the week”

What has Gaelic Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tag Rugby and Volleyball have in common?


The three new Touch recruits all play the sports and their coordination, speed and game awareness is outstanding………well done to Niamh, Caileen and Aoife.

Wk. 6 Results:

  1. Angry Owls 8  v  Turn Up & Play B 0
  2. Heart Breakers 5  v  Peanut Slabs 2
  3. Turn UP & Play A 2  v  Belle Isle Warriors 16
  4. Leeds Bar 3  v  Well Oiled Flanges 3

Player of the week:

Niamh Davern,(Turn Up & Play A)

1st touch of the ball Niamh scored then she added another in the 2nd half.

Wk. 7 Fixtures:

  1. Belle Isle Warriors  v  Leeds Bar
  2. Peanut Slabs  v  Turn Up & Play B
  3. Well Oiled Flanges  v  Angry Owls
  4. Heart Breakers  v  Turn up & Play A

Game of the week:

Well Oiled Flanges  v  Angry Owls

Tennis Festival at Middleton Leisure Centre

Last week schools from around the South Leeds area attended the Tennis Festival at Middleton Leisure Centre. The week saw coaches from the Tennis facility at John Charles Centre for Sport deliver a number of exciting tennis sessions for local young people. Whilst attending the sessions the children took part in a number of skill based challenges and practice games. Each of the children that attended from the local schools received information about the new Mini Red Tennis sessions which are starting  at the centre in November.

wednesdayAM Thursday.Tennis

Dwight Brown, Head Tennis coach commented “It’s been a great opportunity for my team to engage with hundreds of children and they have spotted some real potential throughout the week. This is just the springboard with the new satellite sessions starting at Middleton Leisure centre in early November.”

For more information contact Neil Jones, Active Sports Officer, Leeds city council.    Email- Tel – 0113 395 0186

Leeds Disability Sport News – October 2014

In Leeds

  • Leeds Deaf Juniors FC are promoting their latest monthly coaching sessions for deaf and hard of hearing children here.
  • Spider-Y, which incorporates Leeds Spiders Wheelchair basketball club and Leeds Rhinos wheelchair rugby league club, are hosting their annual awards evening this Friday night (24th October). For details go to:
  • Leeds Disability Sports Camp in October half term (27th to 31st) has some spaces remaining at the camps at Middleton, John Smeaton and Scott Hall leisure centres. Further details are available here.
  • Northern Ballet are continuing their dance programme for adults with a learning disability in Leeds. Taster sessions are being held in October and November, for further information contact:
  • West Yorkshire Sport are holding a Coaches Conference on Sunday 16th November at the John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds. For further details and to book click here.
  • Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre are offering canoeing, biking, indoor caving and climbing opportunities to the Leeds SILC’s, to be used before April 2014. Suitable for ages 11 to 25, six one hour sessions are available for a maximum of 8 people. Contact the centre directly on 0113 378 1271 or for further information.
  • Sportivate funding round 9 is now available to apply for. This aims to provide opportunities for teenagers and young adults (aged 11 to 25), who are not currently, or are doing a limited amount of sport and is for activity between April and September 2015. Closing date to apply is 6th January 2015 and further details are here.

Outside Leeds

  • Active for Autism training is a new project supporting people with autism to participate in sport and physical activity. The National Autistic Society will offer training for coaches, PE teachers and volunteers, for further details click here.
  • West Yorkshire Sport are looking for applications and nominations to be part of the new WYSport Youth Council. Suitable for young people aged 14-18 this group will help shape the delivery of sport in West Yorkshire. Further details can be found here.
  • Volunteer at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games! Applications are now being taken, closing date is 15th For details click here.
  • Powerchair football festival is taking place in York on Sunday 23rd November from 12.00 – 4.00pm. This day also sees the launch of York’s newest football club, Jorvik Warriors. To register attendance and further details are here.