A Great Day For Skolars Juniors At Wembley

11th November 2011

London Skolars Community Coach Neil Thorman tells us about how the Skolars Juniors had the great privilege of being asked to ball boy at the international double header, which took place at Wembley on Saturday 5th November.

“All 11 juniors were prepped on the Thursday prior to the games, with the RFL guidelines for ball boys. Then we came together early Saturday morning to travel to Wembley Park Station, from where we took the magical walk down Wembley Way to the stadium.”

“With an acess all areas, pitch and changing rooms badge the boys were tempted to jump into England’s changing room at anytime and ask for autographs! Luckily everyone realised they were there for another reason and that reason was to ball boy two high quality international rugby league games, starting with Wales vs. New Zealand. With their Gillette hoodies and water bottles in hand they were all given specific areas of the pitch to sit at. They were instructed to work in pairs, one to retrieve the ball and one to replace it. They were able to see the New Zealand Haka live, and nearly as close as the players! Whilst walking around assisting the ball boys, if they needed any, I’d ask who their favourite player was and every one of them said Benji Marshall, so luckily they were able to see a bit of flare from him, and up nice and close when taking his conversions. The score at game ended up 36-0 to the Kiwi’s.”

“The Skolars boys finished that game with no visible errors and retreated back to the changing rooms where possibly their favourite part of the day was – free snack pack with hotdogs and muffins! There was the added bonus of finding that in the changing room adjacent to them was the cheerleaders.”

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“After their food and drinks it was time to head back out around the pitch and prepare for the main event, England against Australia. All the lads were able to see and hear the National anthems up close and take in what was a great atmosphere in the stadium. The boys were able to see England’s biggest star Sam Tomkins show his agility and pace which they loved. The game ran smoothly for the ball boys and they were able to enjoy what was a very exciting and close game, with Australia coming away winners 36-20. At the full time hooter the ball boys were able to wait in the tunnel and ask for autographs, photos and any clothes the players could spare. Some of the the boys had photos takenwith Adrian Morley, and Luke Lewis and were able to joke with Cameron Smith and Sam Thaiday. Then a final team photograph on Wembley turf with now BBC and New Zealand legend Robbie Hunter-Paul.”

“The boys thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and got to see some of the biggest stars in Rugby League, in one of the best and iconic stadiums in the world. Yours truly didn’t have a bad view either and, I have a match ball from both games to prove it”!


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