The children from Beechwood School in Runcorn were overwhelmed when their very own Widnes Vikings Buddy player, Frank Winterstein, visited them as they experienced an Australian day as part of their integrated studies.
As soon as he arrived Frank worked alongside one of the teachers, Miss Harrison, and helped light the Barbeque so the children could enjoy their Australian hotdogs as they rested between games of rugby and cricket. Frank joined in with these games and also walked around informally chatting to the children, posing for photographs and signing autographs. The children - and the adults - had lots of questions for Frank and he never tired of talking to everyone, a true ambassador for the club. The children were particularly impressed with how big Frank was as well as his "lovely voice and accent."
The children all wished Frank luck in his next game and it worked as Frank scored the equalising try when the Vikings won their match against Wigan, going over the try line with three huge Wigan defenders on his back! No doubt all the children, staff and parents from Beechwood were cheering louder than anyone else as Big Frank and his teammates defeated favourites Wigan.
Frank's appearance and partnership with the school is part of the Valhalla Foundation Buddy Scheme, whereby a player is allocated to a school and becomes their own dedicated player. The children from Beechwood were the first to write a letter to their own player asking for him to spend some time with them and we now hear that the other players are all waiting for their school to contact them so they can do what Frank did!