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Chief players hold virtual storytime session

Sports stars share personal stories and setbacks

Exeter Chiefs players delighted Children's Hospice South West children and families by holding a virtual storytime session.

Players Jack Maunder, Joe Simmonds and Tom O'Flaherty joined 13 families at home via video call, as well as care teams at the charity’s three children’s hospices, for a special reading of Jack’s motivational new children's book, Bounce Back Jack!

The sports stars also spent time chatting to families about their own personal experiences of times when they have overcome setbacks and shown resilience.

A highlight of the session was Joe Simmonds giving a rousing pep talk to a little boy who spoke up about struggling at football. Joe shared his own experience of not being good enough when playing for the Torquay United football academy, which led to his transition into rugby. His words inspired the young boy to tell the group and his family that he did not want to give up – a heart-warming moment for both the families and players, which resonated with the theme of resilience in Jack’s book.

Chiefs scrum-half Jack said: “Reading my book to those at Children’s Hospice South West was a humbling experience. It was incredibly moving to hear that, after the session, parents heard their children say that they weren’t going to give up, they are going to keep trying – embracing the power of hope.

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