Cliffe House opens its doors to youth groups

Rugby Cliffe House

Rugby Cliffe House

30 young people from across our area got together for a weekend of fun and activities at Cliffe House last weekend.

The young people who all play for Huddersfield Rugby Union under 10’s took advantage of the opportunity to spend a full weekend together at the well-loved residential education centre.

Many local people have fond memories of spending time at Cliffe House as school children, and the centre is still pretty much booked up by schools during the week. However, the dormitories have previously been empty at weekends, something the staff wanted to change.

Catherine Heppenstall took on the role of teacher/manager at the centre in September 2015. Catherine said:

We are full every single school week of every term with Kirklees schools. The trips are highly successful and schools come back year after year. So we thought, we know what we do well, so let’s try and do something similar at the weekends and during school holidays. We’ve created new packages to suit junior sports clubs, music groups, faith groups and community groups.”

Whilst at Cliffe House the young people stayed played rugby, took part in fun activities, explored the adventure playground, ate together, and slept overnight in the dormitories.

Andy Baker Huddersfield Rugby Union under 10’s head coach said:

The boys and girls meet twice a week to train and play. They are such a brilliant bunch of kids but, as they come from all over the Huddersfield area and all go to different schools, they don’t get many opportunities for socialising. Successful rugby is all about successful team work. We heard about the offer from Cliffe House and it has gave us the opportunity for some quality team bonding time – it truly has been fantastic. I cannot over emphasise the quality of our stay or the brilliance of the weekend. The Cliffe House Staff have been amazing, nothing has been too much trouble and we have been really well looked after. Coaches and children have got so much from it – we’ve already booked again for next year.”

Catherine added:

The children from HURFC have all been fantastic. The enthusiasm and fun that the coaches brought along would make any child want to get up and be involved in sport. Keeping children fit and healthy in mind and body is what Cliffe House is all about. Joining up with the rugby club, who hold the same values, ensured that the weekend was a huge success.

Daniel Marshall, age 10, who attends QEGS in Wakefield said:

I can’t believe Cliffe House, its just so awesome. We have all played together all weekend and I feel like I really know people properly now.”

Alexander Exley, age 9, who attends Hepworth school in Holmfirth said:

We have done loads of great activities and had time to play on the adventure playground as doing team challenges – it was so much fun, just loads and loads of fun.”

Nell Woodhouse and Seren Anderson both 9, are the only girls on the team. Nell said:

When we are training or playing a match its fun, but you don’t get time for other stuff. Being at Cliffe House was like living together for the weekend so we had chance to find out about other people and had a big laugh doing lots of different challenges – even the playground was challenging. Because we are the only girls we got a twin bedroom to ourselves.”

The kids also has a surprise visit from former England Rugby Union head coach Stuart Lancaster, who dropped in to share a few tips.

Want to get involved?

Any group who would like to know more about residential stays at Cliffe House should contact the centre on enquiries.cliffehouse@kirklees.co.uk.

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