Appearances in the local community are always a big part of being a Castleford Tigers player, as the Club is well and truly ingrained in the lives of people in the area.
Star prop Suaia Matagi had a busy week recently partaking in some great work in the community by visiting both The Prince of Wales Hospice and Normanton Knights’ Under 7s presentation evening.
Touching on his first visit of that week at the hospice, the 33-year-old commented on how inspiring it is to see the day-to-day efforts of everyone that works there.
“It was great to be able to go down and visit The Prince of Wales Hospice because it is one of the most rewarding appearances that we do at the Club.
“It means a lot to the players to be able to put a smile on the faces of everybody there and to meet the nurses was really inspiring. Me and the boys helped put up the gazebos for their annual event which is really important for everyone connected to the hospice.”
“Hats off to the staff and all the volunteers who work so hard there and my heart goes out to all of the patients as well for what they are going through. As a player, it really puts things into perspective and for me, it makes me not take things for granted.”
Player visits at youngsters’ presentation events gives the children a chance to see their idols up close and Suaia put forward that it also provides an opportunity for him to have an influence on the next generation of players.
“Going to Normanton and handing out the awards for the kids shows that just a small thing like presenting them with the trophy can go such a long way. To see the smiles on the kids’ faces was really rewarding.
“These types of visits can really inspire the next generation and to show them if I can make it, then they can make it as well. That is probably the most rewarding and satisfying thing you can do as a human being. To let the next generation know that regardless of your past and how many times you fall down in life, you can get back up and go again.”
The work of the Castleford Tigers Foundation plays a crucial role in the Club’s links with the local area and the Fords forward reinstated just how important it is for the players to give back in any way they can.
“All of the community visits we do at the Club are really important. I like what we at Castleford Tigers stand for and what we do to give back to our local area. Our fans always turn up week in, week out, regardless of the result and if we can do anything to give back then it is good, not only for the Club but for the community as well.
“The last two years have been tough so if there is anything we can do to help spread some positivity and for me to be able to use my experience to inspire and show them that there is hope. If I can come from a rough past and go on to make my dreams come true, then I want to help you achieve your dreams.”