Local MP to kick off kids rugby festival

Greg Mulholland MP will be on hand today to kick off an afternoon of rugby fan for local children at Headingley Carnegie Stadium from 1.15pm.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Leeds’ first ever Rugby League Championship, Leeds Rhinos and Marketing Leeds have been hosting a series of events this week in the build up to Friday nights Engage Super League clash between Leeds and Warrington, the two teams who met in 1961 at Odsal.

This afternoon young rugby players will battle it out at a tag event held on the Headingley Carnegie pitch. Once dusted down and back in uniform, ten teams of pupils from schools across the city will then give presentations about each of the decades since the 1960s in a celebration of Leeds Rugby League’s first ever Championship win in 1961. The children will also attend a commemorative match on Friday night and take part in a pitch parade.

Eight schools have also taken part in themed assemblies throughout this week. Morley St Francis, Beeston St Anthony’s, Gildersome Primary, Middleton Primary, Pool Primary, Middleton St Mary’s, Morley Victoria and Drighlington Primary also had a sporting makeover when members of the Leeds Rugby League Foundation and Ronnie the Rhino dropped in to teach children about the sport, exercise and healthy eating.

Prior to the tag event at 1.15pm Greg Mulholland MP will be saying a few words to the children and will literally 'kick off' the event!

Greg, who is Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentarary Rugby League Group and founder & captain of the Political Animals rugby side commented, “As a fan and player of both league and union I am delighted to be getting involved in this very special Leeds Loves Rugby 2011, which will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Leeds’ first rugby league championship

“The contribution both Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Carnegie make to the city should be celebrated and Leeds Loves Rugby is a great opportunity for all sports fans in the city of Leeds to get involved. The touch tournament at Headingley should be a great occasion and I can’t wait to get along and see some of the cities young rugby players showing their skills off at the home of Leeds Rugby!”