A Giant Christmas Welcome for Sporting Giants at the Ulster Hospital

21st December 2023

Players from the Belfast Giants Ice Hockey Team visited the Children’s wards at the Ulster Hospital on Wednesday to deliver sackfuls of teddies donated by their fans at their annual Teddy Toss event.

Defence player Josh Roach was joined by fellow teammate Oliver Cooper as surprised smiles and laughter filled the wards in the run up to Christmas. The players took time to pose for photographs and chatted amongst the children, parents and staff.

Hospital Play Specialists Gillian Sinclair and Sharon Millar said they were delighted to see the Belfast Giants players visit the children as some will be spending the festive season on the wards. “It’s really special for the children to have visits like this over Christmas time. It really lifts the children’s spirits and it also really lifts their whole family’s spirits. Some of the children have been in for quite a little while and haven’t been able to get out and enjoy their annual trip to Santa, so it’s really special for them,” said Gillian.

“This is a yearly event for us and we all really look forward to it. It’s really special to have this relationship with the team and to see them coming back.”

Michael Haden, father of little Mylah Andrews – and Belfast Giants fan, praised the Children’s wards nurses and staff. “The staff here are fantastic. They are just so helpful especially as we have other children at home. Mylah has been in hospital for 11 days but we are hopeful she will be leaving the ward soon. The staff are just so accommodating.”

Belfast Giants centreman Oliver Cooper added, “We are going around handing out teddy bears to the children and trying to make some of the kids’ day around Christmas time. It’s awesome to see the smiles on the children’s faces and hopefully we can spread a little joy at this time of year.”