Last night saw the Jane Tomlinson Appeal hold the first ever Sporting Social, and we are delighted to announce that it was a huge success! With five fabulous stars and an audience of nearly 200 in attendance, there were plenty of laughs and support for the event.
The evening featured a panel including Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft, former England defender Danny Mills, rugby league legend Barrie McDermott and former Leeds United defender Dominic Matteo, hosted by BBC Look North's Tanya Arnold. The stars of the show shared hilarious anecdotes from their careers (McFly and jockstraps being just two of the topics!) and took part in a series of challenges to prove their sporting metal.
The panel were split into two to compete for the most points, with Danny and Hannah versus Barrie and Dom. The first challenge saw Danny and Dom racing around the room collecting footballs of varying sizes, each worth different points, which were strategically hidden on walls, tables and even under chairs! Danny won the first round for his team, putting him and Hannah in the lead.
Between challenges, Tanya interviewed each celebrity one by one and asked them about their sporting careers and beyond. Hannah spoke about how she first got into competing and her love of David Beckham; Danny shared who have been is favourite (and least favourite) managers; Dominic talked about his Liverpool youth days; Barrie praised Leeds Rhinos for their fantastic season. All in all, there were interesting behind-the-scenes stories and a few laughs along the way!
The second competition was the half time challenge, where Danny and Barrie acted out sporting terms to Hannah and Dom, resulting in some hilarious charades. This was then followed by Barrie and Hannah being blindfolded and feeling various items to guess the sport they belonged to - including people dressed up as cricketers and race car drivers. The final round was quick fire questions to score last minute points. Barrie and Dom put in a gallant effort, but the overall winners were Danny and Hannah.
The audience also got involved in the festivities with a Red and Yellow card game, a raffle consisting of signed sporting memorabilia and a silent auction with 'money-can't-buy' prizes provided by the panel themselves. There was also a wonderful drinks reception with fantastic gin and tonics provided courtesy of Leeds Gin.
Overall, the night was a huge success and unlike anything the Appeal has ever done before. We can't thank the panellists; host Tanya; the volunteers from headline supporter Leeds Beckett University and from our very own #AppealTeam; drinks sponsor Leeds Gin; creative partner Banana Kick; and of course the wonderful audience on the night for all of your support.