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Youngsters have a day to remember at Vikings
8:15am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Sport
The Vikings’ Valhalla Foundation staff are an extremely busy bunch at the moment.
The team are engaging with the wider community and forging strong relationships with a number of clubs and schools in and around the borough of Halton, on a daily basis.
On Sunday, the club was delighted to welcome a number of children and teachers from nearby St. Gerard’s school to the Stobart Stadium, as the invited guests of the game’s Community Sponsor, Halton Housing Trust.
Following their arrival, the youngsters were taken on a behind the scenes tour and given an insight into the matchday operation.
Their first pit-stop was in the Bridge Suite where they met first team players Patrick Ah Van and Ben Kavanagh, who signed autographs and answered any questions the keen youngsters put forward. Soon after, they went upstairs to the Executive Boxes and met up with Vikings CEO James Rule, for a quick chat.
The extensive tour also included a visit to the Gym where they got the opportunity to cast their eyes over the cutting-edge equipment used by the Vikings players. They also took an excursion to the Karalius Suite and took part in a fun game of ‘Heads & Tail Bingo’ with Wire FM’s Roy Basnett, with Ellie-Ann Hatton-Daly winning this particular competition and receiving a signed Vikings match ball for her efforts.
Once the tour had culminated, it was time for the kids sit back and relax with a healthy packed lunch which was kindly provided by another of the clubs key partners, Tesco, before letting the Vikings and Saints players take centre stage.
However, St. Gerard’s weren’t the only local Primary School to have a day to remember on Sunday.
Having sold the most Community Tickets in a recent Vikings / Schools promotion, 20 pupils from St. Bede’s had the honour of accompanying the Vikings onto the i-Pitch, in front of a crowd of more than 8,000 passionate supporters.
Commenting on what was a wonderful day for all concerned, Widnes Vikings Community Coach Kurtis Marsh, said; “This was a chance for the Club and Halton Housing Trust to give the children of our local community an alternative experience.
“From start to finish, you could see the delight etched on their faces and they all enjoyed their big day out at the Stobart Stadium.
“Both St. Gerard’s and St. Bede’s are advocates of the Widnes Vikings’ Healthy Heart programme and we were delighted to reward them for their continued support.”
Marsh was joined in his appraisal by Tony Hurst, PE Co-ordinator at St. Bede’s and lifelong Widnes RLFC fan, who added; “We were delighted to accept the invitation for our children to walk out with the team on Sunday and we are always more than happy to engage in any work with the Vikings as they give so much to us.
“The children were absolutely thrilled to take to the field with their heroes and amazed by the roar that went up as they came out with the players.
“It was the chance of a lifetime for them and 'awesome', 'fantastic', 'mega' and 'brilliant', were just some of the words they used to describe it.
“One of them even observed, 'It was the best day of my life – I'll never, ever, ever forget it!”
Equally as enthused was Andrew Lawson, Class 4 Teacher at St. Gerard’s who spoke highly of their day at the Vikings; “On behalf of the school, I would like to thank the Vikings for offering the children of St. Gerard's the experience of a match day at the Stobart Stadium.
“Looking behind the scenes on a match day, getting to walk around the stadium, seeing the gym, physiotherapy room and walking around the pitch will be long-remembered.
“The children, as well as the teachers, loved the experience and the atmosphere during the match.”
The closing comments are reserved for St. Gerard’s pupil Ellie-Ann Hatton-Daly, the aforementioned winner of the pre-match ‘Heads & Tails Bingo’ competition, who said; “I had a great day, I really enjoyed it, especially winning the signed Widnes Vikings rugby ball.
“My favourite part of the day was seeing the scary room with the skeleton in (Physiotherapy room) and the gym.
“The worst part of the day was seeing the Vikings lose to St. Helens.”
If you would like more details on becoming a Community Sponsor at a future Vikings game, please contact Michelle Holmes on: 0151 495 2250. Alternatively, email: firstname.lastname@example.org