Leeds Rhinos hosted their first ever Junior Takeover at their Easter Monday clash with local rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and the event has been hailed a massive success by all concerned.The day saw 16 youngsters aged 9 to 11 shadow club employees to not only give them a unique look behind the scenes at the club but also hopefully inspire them about a career in professional sport.
Each child had a specific role including mini Chief Executive, mini Groundsman, mini Stadium Manager, mini kitman and mini matchday announcer amongst others. They spent the day with their adult counterpart and found out what it takes to run one of the most successful businesses in British sport.
Each child applied for their role and was shortlisted by their own application, as if they were applying for a real job.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington commented, “I thought this was a great initiative, that took a lot of time and effort from staff here at the club in the preparation. Hopefully the whole day will have a lasting legacy for the youngsters involved. Naturally if you ask a young person what they want to be when they are older they might first think about just the players involved in professional sport but the industry is so diverse that there are great opportunities for them in later life to be involved in professional sport. I always say that if you find a job you love, you’ll never do a day’s work in your life and I hope some of our excellent Junior Takeover team will consider a career in sport in later life. On behalf of the club, I would like to thank them all for their tremendous effort and the professional attitude they all brought to their individual roles. They were all a credit to themselves, their families and their schools.”
The Junior Takeover Team:
Community Officer – Lewis Hodgson, Age: 12, West Oaks School SEN. Ciara Greenway, Age: 11, Fulneck Junior School. George Bayfield, Age: 9, Queensway Primary School.
Head of Customer Experience – Grace Delahunty, Age: 9, Greenhill Primary School. Alishia Allison, Age: 11, Greenhill Primary School.
Kit Manager – Malachi Gallagher-Bird, Age: 9, St Margaret’s C of E Primary. Faith Raymond, Age: 11, Queensway Primary School.
Stadium Manager / Security – Evie Cousins, Age: 10, Queensway Primary School.
Chief Executive / Corporate Executive – Katie Dixon, Age: 9, Rawdon St Peters C of E Primary School. Benjamin Mott, Age: 11, Queensway primary school.
Groundsman – Zane Westerman, Age: 9, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary. James Rowney, Age: 8, Bramley St. Peter’s Primary.
Marketing Executive – Anna Ashcroft, Age: 9, Richmond House School.
PA Announcer – Harvey Leach, Age: 11, New Park Primary School.
Media Manager – Samuel Pye, Age: 11, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School. Ellie Swann, Age: 9, Holy Trinity C of E School.

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