News.

Leeds is on its marks for a sizzling summer of sporting excitement

9th May 2024

Leeds is getting set for a summer of major events that will strengthen its status as one of the country’s sporting capitals.

Thousands of amateur athletes will be taking part in runs, bike rides and other events over the next few months, raising the city’s national and international profile and boosting its economy.

Many others will have a watching brief, with sports fans ready to flock to famous venues such as Headingley Cricket Ground and Elland Road as they stage a mouthwatering programme of top-class professional action.

And all those preparing to play their part in the various events and fixtures – whether that’s as a competitor, organiser or supporter – have been told they can look forward to the kind of exciting, inclusive experience that showcases the very best of Leeds.

The list of sporting dates scheduled for the city this summer includes:

  • The 2024 edition of the Leeds 10K, the much-loved annual run that was first staged back in 2007. Organised by the not-for-profit sporting events company Run For All with support from partners including Leeds City Council, it is being held this year on Sunday, June 23. More than 5,000 people are expected to take part in the race, which starts at the University of Leeds’s Parkinson Steps and ends outside Leeds Art Gallery;
  • Legacy Ride, a mass participation cycling event that will mark the 10th anniversary of Yorkshire’s staging of the Tour de France Grand Depart. Taking place on Sunday, July 7, the ride will visit some of the most scenic spots in the Yorkshire Dales in between a start and finish at Leeds’s Roundhay Park. The event is being organised by leading cycling events company Struggle Events with support from Leeds City Council and sponsorship from Leeds-based advanced digital delivery consultancy Axiologik;
  • The UK Corporate Games 2024, which is running from July 25 to 28. Europe’s largest multi-sport festival for businesses, it is being held in Leeds following a joint bid by Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds. The event will see thousands of participants from companies large and small competing in more than 20 sports, from badminton and basketball to tennis and ten-pin bowling.

The month of May also has its own extra-special showpiece occasion in the shape of the second Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.

Taking place this Sunday, May 12, it is being organised by Run For All with support from Leeds City Council and will raise funds for a string of good causes.

April, meanwhile, saw the city break new sporting ground when it staged its first-ever ice hockey international.

A capacity crowd of 2,000 fans packed into the Planet Ice Leeds venue, next to Elland Road, for Great Britain’s 3-1 win over Poland on April 26.

Henry Staelens, chief executive officer of Ice Hockey UK, said:

“It was great to play in front of a sold-out crowd in Leeds. Taking Great Britain around the UK is one of our core aims and it was fantastic to see so many new faces at the game.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in making the night such a success.”

Leeds’s reputation as a sporting heavyweight has been bolstered in recent years by its hosting of events such as the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Series and the Westfield Health British Transplant Games as well as a number of fixtures at 2022’s Rugby League World Cup.

Occasions such as these raise the city’s profile but also set its cash tills ringing, with the UK Corporate Games expected to generate more than £2m for the Leeds economy. Similarly, 2014’s Tour de France Grand Depart boosted Yorkshire’s economy by more than £100m even before other long-term benefits such as increased tourism and trade deals were taken into account.

The council also works alongside individual organisers to ensure that large-scale events are underpinned by robust sustainability strategies that support the city’s net zero ambitions.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“Leeds is a city that is famously passionate about sport and also one that relishes the opportunity to stage major events of all kinds.

“Both of these traits will be in evidence this summer as we host the Leeds 10K, Legacy Ride, UK Corporate Games and much, much more.

“Everyone attending or competing can expect to enjoy the sort of inclusive, welcoming and vibrant atmosphere that Leeds does best.

“As someone who took part in last year’s inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon and will be running it again this weekend, I know just how impressive the city looks and feels on these big days. They really do bring people together and provide a wonderful advert for Leeds.”

In the world of cricket, Headingley will be hosting fixtures for the England men’s team against Pakistan (May 22) and Australia (September 21), with England Women facing Pakistan Women at the same venue on May 19. Rugby league’s 2024 Magic Weekend, meanwhile, is being held at Elland Road on August 17 and 18.