Newest Sapphire Recruit Madi shares her first hospital experience, visiting Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick with fellow Sapphire Renee, Reni Maitua and Tyrone Phillips.
On Wednesday, July 9, Renee, Reni, Tyrone and I made an appearance at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick where we visited the Adolescent Ward and the Starlight Room. This was my first visit with the Bulldogs to a hospital, and I found the whole experience extremely inspiring and rewarding.
Although not all of the children knew who the boys were, or even followed the NRL, you could feel their excitement from a break in the normal routine and the happiness a visit from the Club brought them.
Reni and Renee were in charge of handing out goodies such as pencil cases, teddy bears, mini footballs and posters. Having their posters personally signed by Reni and Tyrone completely lifted the spirits of children such as Daniel and Zac. There were even occasions where the families were more excited to see us than the children!
After we had visited the Adolescent Ward we headed to the Starlight Room, which is an amazing space filled with lots of colours, games and activities for the patients and is an awesome distraction where they can come, hang out and be kids.
Here we were able to interact with the patients and their siblings. Reni and Tyrone were off playing Nintendo and Xbox whilst Renee and I helped two little girls make their beautiful loom band bracelets. It was such a pleasure to be able to sit down one on one and really get to know the girls and hear all about their hobbies and interests, how school is going and where they are from.
It was hard to decide who had bigger smiles on their faces - us or the kids!
That is what I love about community visits, seeing such inspiring individuals and being able to get out there and interact with people from all different backgrounds and circumstances and represent the club in such a positive and fulfilling way.
The value in the day to not only the players, but us Sapphires girls was immeasurable. It was such a great opportunity to be able to lend a little light distraction and fun to what must be an incredible challenge for these tough and resilient children and their families. It was a great honor to be let into their lives, and we hope we were able to brighten even one child’s day with our visit!