On Friday, Leeds Rhinos players Konrad Hurrell and Alex Mellor visited the Leeds Children’s Hospital to deliver Christmas presents to the children who will be in hospital over the Christmas period.
Each year the full Rhinos squad visit the Children’s Wards at Leeds General Infirmary, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, this was not possible this year. The players though still wanted to do something for the children and in the run up to the visit, they donated items of their training kit from last season to be sold in the club shop in the Merrion Centre, with the money raised used to purchase gifts.
The annual ‘Cuthbo’s Christmas Crackers’ sale was the idea of Adam Cuthbertson, who has led the way on this initiative for the last four years and this year over £1,000 was raised to buy the gifts.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation have helped organise the present delivery with Leeds Cares and also arranged for Rhinos players Richie Myler, James Donaldson and Ash Handley to do a Q&A with patients via Zoom.
Hurrell said: “The visit to the Children’s Hospital is always one the players look forward to and we are all disappointed that we are unable to do it again this year. This festive period is always a tough time for children and their families to be in hospital, but this year in particular I can imagine has been even more challenging, with further restrictions on who can visit.
“As a squad we wanted them to know that even though we can’t see them this year, we are still thinking of them and this is why we wanted to organise the presents and the virtual Q&A with some of the players. We hope things will change soon so we can get to organise a visit, but hopefully for now, this will help put a smile on their faces.”
Lisa Beaumont, therapeutic and specialist play manager, at Leeds Children’s Hospital commented: “I want to say a great big, massive thank you to the Rhinos from all the children.
“The Rhinos have always given us wonderful support and highlights like this really make a difference to the children in hospital over the festive period.”