Lightning x Storm Help Hospital Patients Smile

Sunshine Coast Lightning were joined by Melbourne Storm to brighten the day of Sunshine Coast University Hospital patients this week.

Maddy McAuliffe, Phumza Maweni and Peace Proscovia, and Storm trio Harry Grant, Dale Finucane and Tui Kamikamica spent time in the children’s ward as well as visiting First Nations patients.

McAuliffe said she felt privileged to be back out in the community and at SCU after being restricted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We always love getting out and about in the community and in 2020 we were restricted in what we could do – especially at the hospital,” McAuliffe said.

“We are very excited to be here to visit the children’s ward and say ‘hi’ to some pretty brave people.”

The midcourter said throughout her 5 years at Lightning, she has shared many special moments with patients at the hospital and has even discovered their visits have prompted young girls to take up netball years later.

“I’ve been here a few times before and I’ve been lucky over the years to visit,” she said.

“We’ve met some great fans and have received letters a couple of years later of youngers girls who have begun playing netball after they recovered, which is amazing.

“I’m feeling really grateful to be here.”

The integration between Lightning and Storm while they are based on the Sunshine Coast will see a number of joint activities and community visits between the teams.

“It’s great to have the Storm boys up here for a bit,” she said.

“We’ve got some activities over the next couple of weeks to really make sure we make the most of that connection with the Club.”

Storm Hooker Harry Grant said the team are excited to be out in the community this year after being restricted to the NRL hub last season.

Sunshine Coast has become their home away from home and the Club is grateful that they can now say thank you to those who backed them throughout a difficult year.

“They boys didn’t get the opportunity to get out and give back last year, so it’s a good opportunity to now do something for the community that helped our squad so much last season,” Grant said.

“We get just as much – if not more – out of it than the kids do.

“It really justifies why you’re doing what you’re doing and how much what you do means to other people.”

Prop Tui Kamikamica was looking forward to visiting the children’s ward and First Nations patients and hopefully give them a reason to smile.

“We were up here last year and we couldn’t do this with the lockdown,” Kamikamica said.

“We are fortunate this year that we can come out and visit the little kids at the hospital and put a smile on their face.

“If I was a kid and had an NRL player visiting us I would be so happy.”