HUNDREDS of school children from across York got to meet sporting heroes at an event in the city.
Over 250 students attended an ‘Inspiration Day’ at York Sport where they tried out nine different sports, met professional athletes and saw the Women’s, Men’s and Wheelchair Rugby World Cup trophies.
York is one of the host cities for the Women’s Rugby World Cup later this year, and York Sport at York University will be the training ground for the Australian and French Women’s Rugby League teams.
The event saw children, aged 10-11, from a selection of York primary schools take part in initiation activity sessions where they tried out a number of sports including rugby, cricket , athletics, triathlon, hockey, boccia, tennis, netball and football.
Sports figures present to oversee the activities included Jodie Cunningham of the English Rugby League; Olympic athlete, Scott Lincoln; Boccia Paralympian Beth Moulam and Northern Superchargers cricketer Kalea Moore.
Players and athletes from several sports spoke to the children, alongside Julia Lee, the first female rugby league referee in the men’s professional game; With the school groups, she attended the “Living with the lioness” exhibition, highlighting the history of the Women’s Rugby League.
Activities were carried out by clubs and supporting organizations including the Brownlee Foundation, York City Knights, York City Foundation, Leeds Rhinos Netball, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, Boccia UK and the Hockey and Athletics Clubs of the city.
Tennis was also donated by Rackets Cubed, an organization working with York Sport to address activity and food hunger issues.
Head of Sport at York University Keith Morris said: “The idea for the event came from hearing Paralympian Kadeena Cox say ‘people can’t be what they don’t see’. .
It seemed fitting to act on those words in a year of top sporting events, including the Rugby World Cup in York.
“The day was all about kids seeing and meeting inspiring personalities in a range of sports they could try, remember and hopefully be inspired by.”
The Day of Inspiration event was part of Host Impact Day, which sees the Rugby World Cup squad tour the towns and cities that will host the tournament. York hosts the women’s tournament in November.
Keith said: “We were delighted to see so many female athletes represented at our event.
“It will be a great year for women in sport, with the Rugby World Cup matches, Euro 2019 matches and Commonwealth games, which I hope will continue to inspire engagement with sport for women and men.”