Hep Cahill and Heptathlon participantsWidnes Vikings player Hep Cahill hosted a sports festival for people with learning disabilities recently, which saw participants raise money for a community project the rugby league star has launched that aims to fund new public exercise parks in Halton.

The festival took place on October 1 at the Frank Myler Pavilion in Widnes, and was named the ‘Hep-tathlon’ in honour of the player. Inspired by the spirit of the Paralympics and working with Cahill and coaches from Widnes Vikings, people supported by charity Community Integrated Care took part in 7 creative and accessible Olympics-themed sports sessions, inspired by the likes of athletics, shot put and rugby.

Participants helped to raise £500 for the community project. Following the event, Hep presented medals to every participant and spent time with them, taking photos and signing autographs.  

This festival was the latest development in the partnership between Widnes Vikings and Community Integrated Care. Participants at the event also enjoy taking part in accessible sports sessions with the club’s community coaches twice a week. They have 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.  

“I loved taking part in the Hep-tathalon and meeting everyone,” said Cahill. “It was a really fun day and we all had a great time getting involved in the activities together. The players have really developed a fantastic relationship with the people supported at Community Integrated Care this season, and it was special to give them another great experience at this event.

“It’s was honour that they chose to support my campaign and help with my fundraising efforts. The £500 they raised will really make a big difference.” 

Karen Hayes, Community Integrated Care’s service leader, added: “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 gave people we support another wonderful experience, and helped a great cause. I’m so proud of everyone raising this £500.”