Development Squad children to lead out Vikings

Development Squad children to lead out Vikings

29th December 2017

Widnes Vikings will be led out at the Festive Derby tonight by five inspiring members of the Widnes Vikings Development Squad, in recognition of their support of the Beat The Scrum campaign.

Development Squad members, Charlie Shone, Joey Nulty, Reuben Taio Mafi, Cameron Billington and Jake Pottle all volunteered at the Vikings recent Winter Health Event with NHS Halton CCG. The five children all chose to attend the event with their parents and made a commitment to back the campaign.

The Widnes Vikings Development Squad is a unique programme that offers all local school boys in Years 6 – 7 the opportunity to enjoy quality coaching and learn about Rugby League with skilled volunteers. For some, this represents an exciting first step on the pathway to becoming a Widnes Vikings player.

Dave Sweeney, CEO of NHS Halton CCG, says: “We were delighted to have the support of the Development Squad at the event. The boys all showed a genuine passion for their NHS and asked some fantastic questions about how they can do their bit to support their local health services. It would be incredible if everyone in our Borough could follow their lead by educating themselves on how to make the right NHS choices. I hope that they enjoy leading the team out tonight and feel very proud of this special recognition.”

Roger Harrison, President of the Widnes Vikings Development Squad, says: "Widnes supporters have always been very keen on their heritage. Heritage is an integral part of any society and any culture. The National Health Service is core to our society; it is our National Health Service, it epitomises what is good, what is empathetic and what is caring about our society

The values that underpin our Health Service are the very values that we try to promote to the boys involved in the Development project. Therefore, we were very proud that four members of the Development Project, Joey Nulty, Reuben Taio Mafi, Cameron Billington and Jake Pottle, accompanied by their parents, represented the Project at Winter Health event.

The boys learned that our National Health Service is truly at breaking-point, but that we can all do our little bit to relieve the enormous pressures on the system itself. They heard from the individuals who work so tirelessly for the well-being of each and every one of us. The boys recognised the key element of teamwork as being part of the answer. Just like in a Rugby League environment, each person contributes but it is when we all work together that we will achieve success.

I am just delighted that our youngsters were in at the beginning of the Beat the Scrum concept. I look forward to all concerned with the Widnes Vikings Schoolboys Development Project continuing to raise awareness in this area."

Find out how you can support your NHS at

Development Squad children to lead out Vikings