The Dyldam Parramatta Eels had their annual Christmas visit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 15 December) and the Blue and Gold visited the wards spreading some Christmas cheer to the families and patients in the hospital.

For Eels forward David Gower, the annual event is a highlight on his calendar, with the proud father eager to put some smiles on the kids faces.

“We have been very lucky that we come here often. Easter and Christmas are the big two that we always make sure we are available for,” Gower said ahead of the visit.

“It is a tough time for all the families and children here and for us to be able to give a little bit of time and to chat to the families who are doing it a little bit tough this festive season.”

“It is a highlight for me personally and I love coming here,” Gower added.

The Blue and Gold have a long-standing relationship with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, spanning nearly two decades, and Gower said the entire squad visiting the hospital could connect to the visit and hoped that they would be able to share a bit of hope and happiness heading into the festive season.

“It is a privilege to come and see the families and spend some time with the kids that are doing tough and we absolutely love it,” Gower said.

“We had our Xmas party the other day, and I think there are 30 odd kids in the squad so there is a lot of guys here that understand the hardships that families go through at this time of year.” he added.

“Having a sick child is something we don’t wish upon anyone and we definitely understand that any little bit of hope and time that we can give them to take their minds of it is a bonus.”

With the Eels nearing their Christmas break, Gower reflected on the pre-season training thus far.

“There have been some hot days out here at Parramatta but we are focused on improving as a group and working on our own individual flaws and just trying to improve everyday and every session,” Gower said.

“I love it, it’s the best job in the world. I was an electrician before I came full time into footy and I appreciate every day being a footy player.”