Rhinos help bring a smile to young fans

Members of the Leeds Rhinos mens and womens team helped spread some festive cheer with the club’s annual Christmas visit to the Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Players from both squads visited the children’s wards giving out gifts, which were bought by the club’s official charity the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, as well as chatting to young fans, many of whom will be in hospital over the festive period.

The Rhinos players also made sure that the hospital’s hard working staff did not miss out with a special hamper for the nursing staff to enjoy.

In addition, Rhinos star Adam Cuthbertson also raised £1800 from his annual Cuthbos Christmas Crackers project when raises money by donating kit from the players for fans to purchase. This year he raised a record amount to buy toys from Smyths and Morrisons. These gifts were given to children who are recovering from operations and also available in ward play rooms.

New star signing, Australian international Trent Merrin commented, “It was great to be involved today, all the boys enjoyed it and to see the smiles on the children’s faces was great. They are going through a tough time, particularly at Christmas which is a family time of year so it’s nice that we can come here and support them in anyway we can.  I think it is important that a team like ours, who are in the spotlight, and maybe looked up to as heroes by a few of these kids in hospital that we do these visits and keep putting a smile on their faces. Playing the game is special but for us to be able to make a positive impact in the community is even better so it was great to be here.”

Leeds Rhinos Womens captain and England international Lois Forsell added, “It is great for the Women’s team to be involved in the hospital visit and for us to show our support. If we can put a smile on the children’s or parents faces even for just 20 seconds it is well worth the visit.

“This is the first time I’ve been and if we can help we are more than willing to do is.  It is also good for the men and women’s team to come together to do this as a club.”

Leeds Rhinos mens star Stevie Ward added, “I think it is good that we can all come in to see as many people as possible and bring some festive cheer and good energy. There was a big buzz about coming today for both teams.  There were a few Rhinos fans who were delighted to see us and more than anything we are more than happy to be involved.”