Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A civic welcome for the New Zealand and Italy national RL teams

The cream of international rugby league was officially welcomed to Leeds today by Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Murray, at a civic reception for reigning world champions New Zealand, and Italy.

Both squads are in Leeds preparing for their final group games in Rugby League World Cup 2013, and could potentially face each other in the tournament's first quarter final on 15 November at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Excitement in the city continues to build ahead of New Zealand’s clash with Papua New Guinea at Headingley Carnegie this Friday, with a bumper crowd being expected.

Over 120 guests attended the civic reception, which was jointly hosted by the Lord Mayor, Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Rugby. The guests were treated to performances from Leeds Young Authors, RJC Dance, and South Asian Arts-uk, and pupils from Holy Family Catholic Primary school performed a special Haka. Gary Hetherington of Leeds Rugby led a question and answer session with representatives from both teams.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Tom Murray said:
“I was delighted to welcome both the New Zealand and Italian teams to Leeds, and I hope they enjoy their time here. I wish both teams for best of luck for their final group games and hope that we get to see them both perform in the quarter final here in Leeds next Friday.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills said:
“As a city, we are immensely proud to be hosting two games as part of this global sporting event, and to have the reigning world champions, New Zealand staying and playing in Leeds is fantastic. We wish all teams the best and I can’t wait to be there at the game at Headingley this Friday!

“We are also delighted that the Italian squad have been staying and training in the city, and wish them well for their final group game on Sunday.”

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:
“The excitement has been building up over the last few weeks ahead of the arrival of the World Champions in Leeds and we are delighted to be hosting the Kiwis in our city and at our home at Headingley Carnegie. Fans have been keen to snap up tickets for the game against Papua New Guinea, who include our new signing Paul Aiton in their side, so there is plenty of interest in both teams. Tickets are still available for the game and hopefully we can create a special night on Friday.”

The New Zealand team arrived in Leeds on Monday 4 November ahead of their final group game against Papua New Guinea on Friday, 8 November at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

The matches at Headingley Carnegie Stadium are the best way to see RLWC2013 in West Yorkshire! Leeds Rugby announced on Sunday evening that the South Stand and Carnegie Stand terrace are now sold out for the game this Friday (8 November). There is limited availability for seats as well as ground tickets for the Western Terrace. Ground tickets may be purchased at the turnstiles on the evenings of the games. There is availability at present in all areas for the Quarter Final, but please book early to avoid disappointment.

More than half of tickets are £20 or less and if tickets are bought for the first game, you get 50% off the ticket price for the quarter final match. Tickets for under 16s, students, over 65s start are from only £7.50 for one game, or £11.25 for both games. Family ticket deal - if you buy 2 adult tickets and 1 child ticket you get another child ticket free.

Tickets are available from the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station, the opening hours of which are Monday 10am - 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm. For more information please visit the website, email, or telephone 0113 242 5242.

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting or by calling the 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (07712) 214223

Poets to entertain Rugby League World Cup 2013 fans before big game

Poets from Heads Together practice ahead of Friday's big game

Thousands of fans are sure to be well versed in what the Rugby League World Cup 2013 means to Leeds ahead of Friday’s big match at Headingley Carnegie.

A 100-strong army of local poets will be performing for the crowds as they make their way to watch the clash between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The “poetry haka” will see wordsmiths from Heads Together reciting pieces of their own work, inspired by the themes of victory, sportsmanship and international friendship.

They will form an avenue of poetry leading up to the iconic stadium, where the game kicks off at 8pm.

Heads Together have recruited poets and performers who have been involved in their East Leeds FM community radio project and have had funding support from Leeds Inspired.

Peter Spafford, Words Director at Heads Together, said:

“We've had a fantastic response to our call for 100 Poets, both from individual poets but also from groups as diverse as Leeds Young Authors, Dead Poets, and Leeds Met.

“I can't wait to see them lining the walkway under the famous Western Terrace at the match on Friday.”

Pupils from schools across the city have also been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get involved in the big game.

Youngsters from Leeds West Academy, Rodillian Academy, Mt Saint Mary’s Catholic High School and Carr Manor Community School will be carrying the tournament flag onto the pitch.

Pupils from Hunslet St Josephs RC Primary School, Valley View Community Primary School, Holy Family Catholic Primary School Shire Oak Cof E Primary School and Alwoodley Primary School will be escorting players onto the pitch on the night.

West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre, Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Rugby League Club, Sport on Saturday Community Disability Multi Sport Club and Lighthouse School Leeds will also form a guard of honour for the players.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure, said:

“People in Leeds have grabbed the chance to show how excited they are for the Rugby League World Cup in some really innovative and creative ways and I’m sure fans will love hearing what our local poets have come up with.

“It’s also wonderful that children from our schools will be playing their part in such a memorable sporting occasion. Taking to the pitch in front of thousands of fans will be something these lucky young people will never forget.”

As well as Friday’s game, the first Rugby League World Cup quarter final will take place at Headingley Carnegie on November 15, also kicking off at 8pm.

Tickets for RLWC2013 matches at Headingley are available from the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station.

Leeds Visitor Centre is open Monday 10am - 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm. For more information please visit the website, email, or telephone 0113 242 5242.

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting or by calling the 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.
When a ticket to one of the games is purchased, a ticket for the second game is then available to buy at half price.

Ticket prices start at just £15 (£7.50 concessions) for group games and quarter-finals.
Tickets for the South Stand and Carnegie Stand terrace on Friday have now sold out. There is limited availability for seats as well as ground tickets for the Western Terrace.

Ground tickets may be purchased at the turnstiles on the evenings of the games. Tickets are still available in all areas for the Quarter Final.

Senior councillors approve new plan to tackle drug and alcohol misuse

Senior councillors in Leeds have approved a tough new action plan aimed at tackling the impact of drug and alcohol misuse across the city.

Leeds City Council’s executive board met today (Wed, Nov 6) to discuss the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Strategy and Action Plan.

The document will now act as a blueprint for the way the authority and its partners will promote a responsible attitude to alcohol and provide help for families and communities affected by drug use over the next three years.

The strategy comes after the council was asked to take charge of the city’s drug and alcohol prevention, treatment and recovery in line with national guidelines earlier this year.

It has been drafted following extensive local engagement, with feedback from key stakeholders taken from events held around the city.

Key findings included significantly higher rates of alcohol-related admission to hospital for people living in deprived areas of the city.

The council’s research also showed that, whilst the number of dependent opiate users in the city was falling, there has been an increase in the use of “legal highs”.

In a bid to tackle these problems, the strategy aims to ensure young people better understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Continued improvement in alcohol and drug treatment services and more support for children and families also form important elements of the overall strategy.

The council is also highlighting Alcohol Awareness Week which runs November 18-25, and has information on local support services at

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said:

“As with many big cities across the UK, alcohol and drug misuse is a significant issue in Leeds and one that we are determined to tackle alongside our partner agencies.

“Drug and alcohol misuse can lead to increases in hospital admissions and can also be directly linked to levels of domestic violence and the numbers of children being taken into care.

“This strategy will ensure a joined up approach that will be instrumental in achieving our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy goal of making sure people in Leeds live longer and have the support they need to lead healthier lives.

“Implementing this strategy will help the council to meet many of our strategic priorities and we are confident that by working together, we can help to ensure that fewer people, families and communities in our city will have to live with the often devastating consequences of drug and alcohol misuse.”

Cllr Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, added: “This strategy supports some of the council’s key community safety priorities.

“There is a direct link between drug and alcohol misuse and levels of crime and disorder and this new strategy will give vital, added support to the important work we already do to make the city safer.

“It also re-enforces our commitment to work alongside our partners and ensure that Leeds is a safe, healthy and vibrant city to live in.”

A further report will now be drafted later in the year which will set out plans to re-tender the city’s drug and alcohol services.


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937