Western Sydney Wanderers are known for being a club that embraces the community. On the field the club’s W League team has shown plenty of pride in wearing the Red and Black this season, unbeaten after five rounds and playing exceptional football.
Off the field the club continues to embrace its surroundings. This month the club has once again sent its players to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for their annual Christmas visit.
There were plenty of smiles, laughter and excitement from society’s most precious who are doing it incredibly tough.
One of the popular visitors was captain Erica Halloway, who has been a regular over the past few years.
“I love doing this visit every year, I’ve been doing it now for maybe my fifth year,” said Halloway on the Wanderers website. “The kids in here are just amazing, they are the true heroes.
“For me going in and just seeing them, some of them have been in here for months and the character they show and the big smiles on their faces.
“They’ll take your heart when you’re in there with them and smiling through probably the toughest times they’re going through.”
Halloway and her team most definitely left their mark with the kids shrugging off their initial shyness and embracing their heroes.
Halloway even felt like she was on the field for a brief moment.
“One kid even sledged me about my page, so play on well done to her,” laughed Halloway.
Whilst sports men and women visiting hospitals is nothing new, it is the perfect pick me up for children who are going through experiences that no child should ever have to.
The precious moments shared between players and children is something both cherish.
American goalkeeper Abby Smith, enjoying a stellar first season, was moved by her experience in particular how upbeat the kids were.
“We do what we can and we just want to bring a positive light for the little kids and even the old kids who are in this area.
“I think a lot don’t think about the circumstances they are in, so when we can come in and they just laugh and joke, it’s like any other day. So it makes it a great environment to come to."