Throughout March, staff, students and alumni have joined forces to raise money for Leeds Trinity University's Inspiring Futures Programme (IFP) – an exciting fundraising programme which supports students who want to study abroad or complete in elite-level sport alongside their studies, and recent graduates who want to develop their own business.
On Monday 18 March, hockey players May Leung, Katherine Skelton and Catriona Rooker from Leeds Trinity's Women's Hockey Club organised a hockey match against the Men's Rugby League Team. In a very close game the men were eventual winners 2-1. All those taking part made a donation to IFP, raising nearly £70 in one hour.
May, Katherine and Catriona were rewarded for their efforts at the 2019 Students' Union Clubs and Societies and Awards Dinner, where they were presented with the IFP award for innovation, by Alumni Relations Officer, Brett Arnall.
On Wednesday 27 March, it was the Men's football team's turn when the University fifth team took on a mixed staff and alumni team at 11-a-side football. Joining the staff and alumni team were two students (who also both work at the University) and who have benefited themselves from the IFP funding. Matthew Broadley (football) and Daniel Connelly (Gaelic football) had both received grants to support them competing at international level whilst studying.
Incoming Students' Union Vice President Chris Dow was responsible for organising the student team and he also refereed the match on the night (well, at least for the first half!) In a very tight match the staff/alumni were winning 1-0 at half-time, so Chris gave his cards and whistle to fellow footballer Leighton Stanger, so he could get in on the action himself! The staff/alumni team went on to win 4-0, although the score didn't reflect how close the game was. The success was partly down to having Matthew on the team! The match raised nearly £90 and everyone agreed at the end that this should be an annual event.
Brett Arnall, Player/Manager for the staff/alumni team, said: "It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves whilst raising money for students at Leeds Trinity. I feel very proud to see students raising money so that their fellow students can succeed and take advantage of opportunities that otherwise might not be possible. It is wonderful that the Women's Hockey Club, Men's Rugby League and Men's Football have all been involved this year, hopefully next year we'll get even more clubs and societies in on the action."
The match also gave time to reflect on the appalling racist abuse that was evident during the England match against Montenegro a few days before. Chris Dow organised 'show racism the red card' flyers for both teams to show their solidarity against racism.
Chris Dow, incoming Students' Union Vice President, said: "It was great to help with the match and I am pleased the players are keen to make this an annual fixture against the staff. It will be a bit different for me next year as I'll no doubt be on the staff team, in my new role as the Students' Union Vice President.
"As well as raising funds for the Inspiring Futures Programme, it was also very important for the football club and the University to make a stand against racism. This is not acceptable in football or any sport."
Any students wanting to get involved with raising funds for IFP in the future should contact Brett Arnall. Find out more about IFP here.