‘It was really good to see the smiles on their faces’

Giving back: Lisa Griffith, Rachel Priest, Daniel Sams and Liam Hatcher at The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Giving back: Lisa Griffith, Rachel Priest, Daniel Sams and Liam Hatcher at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Patients at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead were thunderstruck on Monday when Sydney Thunder players delivered gifts in the lead up to Christmas.

Fairfield Liverpool fast bowler Liam Hatcher, Rachel Priest, Lisa Griffith and Daniel Sams visited three wards and spent time with patients and staff.

“It was really good to see the smiles on their faces with some of them going through some pretty tough times,” Hatcher said.

“Anything we can do to help them out and put a smile on their face is well worth while. I can’t imagine what some of these families are going through, around Christmas time which is all about family. 

“We live the dream getting to play professional cricket, it’s inspiring to come here and see them with a big smile on their face.”

Sydney Thunder open their Big Bash League campaign against the Sydney Sixers on December 24 at Spotless Stadium.

The club has joined forces with Barnados Australia in asking supporters and members to bring unwrapped Christmas gifts to the game to help give disadvantaged Australian children the opportunity to open a present on Christmas Day.

Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon said that sport has the opportunity to have a significant, positive impact on the community.  

“The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is part of our Thunder Nation and does an outstanding job of looking after the most important citizens in our Thunder Nation, our children.  It is both humbling and a privilege for our club to be able to make a small difference like this at this important time of year,” he said.

Westfields Sports High School students at the Thunder’s Leadership
Program.

Westfields Sports High School students at the Thunder’s Leadership Program.

Meanwhile, Germon met with Westfields Sports High School students recently to discuss leadership in sport and beyond, as part of the Thunder’s ongoing Leadership Program.

Students from Homebush Boys High School, Miller Technology High School and The Hills Sports High School also took part in the program which features a mix of theoretical workshops and practical cricket sessions. 

Sydney Thunder cricketers also shared their insights on leadership, goal-setting and belonging.

Students involved in the program also worked with a local primary school by leading a reading and cricket session, and volunteering with local community organisations.

“The Thunder Leadership Program enables students to develop their leadership skills, grow their self-confidence and feel a sense of belonging in their community,” Mr Germon said.

“This experience will enable them to grow as a person and share these learning’s with their peers.”