Widnes Vikings star player Hep Cahill will be hosting a unique sports festival for people with learning disabilities on Saturday 1st October, working with the charity Community Integrated Care. The event, which is inspired by the spirit of the Paralympics, will see participants raise money for a special community project that the rugby star has launched, which aims to fund new public exercise parks in Halton.
Taking place at the Frank Myler pavilion in Widnes, the event has been named the ‘Hep-tathlon’ in honour of the player. Working with Hep and coaches from the club, 15 people with learning disabilities will take part in seven creative and accessible Olympics-themed sports sessions, inspired by the likes of athletics, shot put and rugby.
This sports festival comes as part of a pioneering partnership between Widnes Vikings and Community Integrated Care. Participants in this event also enjoy taking part in accessible sports sessions with the club’s community coaches twice a week. They have also had some incredible experiences with the club this year, such as leading players out at a Widnes Vikings match and getting up close with the Super League trophy. They are avid Vikings fans, and have built up a tremendous working relationship with their favourite team and its players this year.
Cahill is one of the Vikings’ key players, having starred for the club since 2012, and is well known for his commitment to supporting local community and charity projects. He has recently developed a campaign to create a number of fitness parks in the Borough – an effort which has been backed by the club and Halton NHS CCG. The care services taking part are looking for sponsorship from fans and the local community, with every penny raised going to Hep’s campaign.
Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s largest and most successful health and social care charities, supporting thousands of people across England and Scotland with learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and dementia. The charity was founded in Widnes in 1988.
Hep Cahill, says: “The Hep-tathlon will be amazing and it’s an event which I can’t wait to be a part of. The players have really developed a fantastic relationship with the people supported at Community Integrated Care this season, and I hope to give them all another great experience at this event.”
He adds: “It’s an honour that the charity has chosen to support my campaign and help with my fundraising efforts. I really smiled a lot when I heard they would be calling this event the ‘Hep-tathalon’! My ambition is to create a number of accessible sports areas that families can use to improve their fitness, and efforts like this will really help.”
Karen Hayes, Community Integrated Care Service Leader for two homes that are taking part, says: “This year we’ve had an amazing experience working with Widnes Vikings and the players, so we wanted to finish the season on a high by giving back to the club that has given us so much. When we found out about Hep’s fundraising plans, we wanted to do something special to help out. This fantastic event will give the people we support another great experience, as well as help a great cause. We’re really looking forward to the big day!”