Riders wow Rainbows youngsters with surprise visit

Basketball stars bagged extra points with youngsters with life-limiting conditions when they sprang a surprise visit to Rainbows hospice this week.

The Leicester Riders team chatted with youngsters and staff at Rainbows, handing out signed merchandise and match tickets along the way to spread a little extra Christmas cheer.

They also practised some moves with Rainbows young adult and Riders fan, Leoam Smith (25), whose smile said it all, as did that of little Niyah McAteer (two), who bonded with captain Tyler Bernardino (pictured).

He said: “We are so thrilled to be here and meet the youngsters and see the great support that is offered to them and their families – and we look forward to supporting all the guys at Rainbows in the new year. As for Leoam, me and the guys want him on the team!”

Loughborough-based Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People supports youngsters and their families across the East Midlands when they need it most.

Julie Macauley, Rainbows Family Liaison Worker, commented: “We were thrilled by the Riders, who were brilliant with the youngsters – an early Christmas present, lighting up faces. We are so grateful to the guys for their kindness.”

Rainbows Hospice has just launched its Christmas Appeal to put more smiles on faces and make memories for youngsters whose lives are too short. To donate and add to the magic visit www.rainbows.co.uk/appeal