Leicester Tigers players Michele Rizzo, Sione Kalamafoni, Valentino Mapapalangi and George McGuigan visited patients at Loughborough’s Rainbows Hospice this week.
The players joined in a tea-and-cakes party, chatted to youngsters at the hospice and took a tour of the specialist facility meeting staff and volunteers.
The Rainbows Hospice is supported by Leicester Tigers main sponsor Holland & Barrett and is the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses.
The four players visited patients across the facility posing for photos and learning about the work the charity carry out. They also met life-long Tigers fan Jake Pearson (24), from Burbage, who has been supported by the Loughborough-based charity since he was a small boy.
Tigers forward Michele Rizzo said: ““I think it is very important to stay close to people and especially those less lucky than us – and those who are Tigers fans who can’t come to see us. With two young boys myself, we felt very honoured to share part of our lives with their lives.”
Julie Macauley, Rainbows Family Liaison, said: “For many of our youngsters and their families meeting four Tigers was a dream come true.
To actually see how engaged and caring the players were was absolutely magical – and we can’t thank them enough. It was a magical afternoon.”
Sione Kalamafoni also left special momento for one young lady who is unable to communicate directly, leaving his Tigers sweatshirt with her.
To find out more about the Rainbows Hospice, visit www.rainbows.co.uk