Children at Morriston Hospital, Swansea and the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend got a special pre-Christmas visit from the Ospreys this week.
Players took time out of preparing for the first of the festive derbies against Cardiff on Friday to visit their young fans in the children's wards at the two Hospitals.
In the now traditional visit to the children's wards the Ospreys players helped spread some Christmas cheer amongst the youngsters currently being treated, as well as their families and the nursing staff. The squad spent time with the young patients, signing autographs and posing for photos, while handing out Ospreys goodies to the children.
Adam Jones was amongst the squad members who went to Morriston Hospital and commented on the visit:
"All the players absolutely love coming in to the hospitals for these events, it's so rewarding to be able to give something back to those who deserve it most. Being a parent myself these days it can be pretty emotional seeing the kids in hospital but it's so heart warming to see them smiling and enjoying the visits from the boys.
“These children are just so brave, the way they are facing illnesses with such incredible attitudes and senses of humours it really makes you think. Rugby players are often called heroes but it is these kids who are the real heroes".
Tom Habberfield who visited his local hospital, the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, added:
"We are in such a privileged position as professional rugby players it's the least we can do to come and meet the children and have a bit of festive fun with them. Being in hospital at any time is awful, as many rugby players have found out unfortunately, but to be in at Christmas especially as a child is awful. Hopefully us visiting today has put a bit of a smile on their faces and made their Christmas that little bit better.
“It’s important to us all that the Ospreys are proactive out and about in the community. As a Bridgend boy, to be able to do something like this for Bridgend children is a big thing for me It's really meant a lot to the rest of the boys too so thanks to the hospital for having us.”
Andrew Hore, Chief Executive at the Ospreys said:
"These hospital visits have become a big event in the Ospreys calendar now. Every year as we get towards Christmas the players start asking when the visits to the children's wards will be. It's something that they all really look forward to and I know they find it so rewarding to be able to go in and spend some time putting smiles on the children's faces.
“Our commitment to Ospreylia is not just about what we do on the field. The players know they are in a very special position and it's so important to us that we get out into the wider community and have a positive impact and help people. I can't think of many that deserve it more than children and their families who are in hospital as Christmas approaches, or those caring for them. I'm glad that the players visiting them has brought them some joy at a difficult time".
You can see our Facebook gallery from Bridgend here
Our Facebook gallery from Morriston is here