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ell what a week it’s been for the Widnes Vikings, the highly controversial signing of player Gareth Hock has created high hopes for the teams future, but in this edition we focus on the views of the fans following the announcement, and it’s a mixed bag.

We are always looking for local people passionate about sport to contribute to the Widnes Weekly, here are the ways in which you can do so: - @WidnesWeeklySports - - Tel: 0151 420 5565 Address: 109A Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6QU

We have been lucky enough to have an exclusive interview with world record holding gymnast Emma Smith, who is a big shot in the world of trampolining and gymnastics, she talks real life, sport life, and representing Widnes on a global stage, this one is not to be missed! Widnes Weekly Sport have also been investigatig the latest craze among some of the towns biggest takeaway shops, they are taking their competition out of the kitchen and onto the football pitch, you may be surprised who’s been getting involved, and you may even be surprised who has been winning! With the summer just around the corner we have compiled a list of fantastic spots to get your skate on, score some goals, or just to get fit!

Widnes Vkings have announced this week that the newest member to join the ranks is the infamous England forward, Gareth Hock. The former Wigan player caused controversy throughout the transfer, after being accused of refusing to train in order to initiate a move to Widnes. He will join The Vikings on a one-season loan, with the intention to stay for longer.

and insisted upon a move elsewhere.” Widnes Vikings fan have been vocal about Hock’s arrival to the team, in a generally positive way, despite great criticism from Wigan fans, and the club themselves.

on the team I hope he teaches some of them a few tricks, hopefully it’s going to be a new start for the team. The Wigan fans are going mad because they know we have a better chance of beating them now!” Said the 37-year-old.

Commenting on the move to Frank GraWidnes, ham, 44, Hock “I had my heart set on from Ditton said: Widnes” in Widnes thinks the “Hock transfer is the best thing to said: “I’m really looking forhappen for a while to Widnes, ward to it. There were a few he said: clubs on the phone but I had

The transfer has sparked some controversy, as the 29-yearold only “I think it’s “It’s the best thing to returned great, he’s happen in a while for the to rugby done some last year bad stuff in Vikings” after the past but serving a he’s passionate lengthy drug ban, and is well and you can tell when he’s known for his violent outplaying. I think it’s the best bursts. In a statement, Wigan thing to happen in a while for Rugby Club said: the Vikings after a few awful seasons.” “Gareth Hock refused completely after Christmas to Agreeing with Frank’s view, return to rehabilitation and life-long Vikings fanatic Sanpre-season training at Wigan. dra Murphy thinks Hock has He informed Wigan Warriors a lot to offer for the Widnes that he would not be conteam. tinuing his career at the club, expected the club to sack him “He’s by far the best player

my heart set on Widnes. I like being in a good environment and I’ve got a lot of friends here. I can’t wait to get playing.” Gareth will leave Wigan’s ground this week and remain at the Widnes team for an entire season, and hopes to remain there for the longterm in the future. His first match will be Widnes V St Helens where he will have his chance to put his skills on show, in one the Viking’s most important matches of the season.

ST MARIES VIKINGS MAKE IT TO THE WIDNES CUP FINAL CLOSE SEMI-FINAL WITH SIMS CROSS ENDS IN VICTORY FOR ST MARIES the team’s fourth Widnes Cup victory. The team, formerly named Widnes. St Maries, have changed their name after 75 years after they were purchased by the Widnes Vikings team in mid-2012, providing them with a better training ground and facilities to the team.

St Maries Vikings defeated Sims Cross rugby team this weekend in a close game to win their spot in the Widnes Cup final.


he match seen both teams neck-and-neck throughout, with St Maries eventually edging the defeat over Sims Cross with a 20-18 victory,

with tries scored by Adam Prendegast, Gavin Conroy, Daniel Horton and captain Lee Birdsey. The win takes the team to the Widnes Cup Final on 16th May, which is where all local rugby teams compete to become champions of Widnes. If St Maries Vikings defeat their known rivals, it will be

Talking to The Widnes Weekly Sport about the upcoming final, 27-year-old Vice Captain, Leighton Smith, said: “ It is important for the team to win to keep a hold of our title and remain the best amateur team in Widnes. We have grew as a team since moving to the Widnes ground. I unfortunately missed last year’s game through injury, so there is more fire in me this year to get out there and win.”

FREE SKATE LESSONS FOR TEENS AT ICE RINK Silver Blades, the newest addition to Widnes’s leisure park ‘The Hive’ is offering free skating lessons for new learners aged 14-25. The sessions will begin Tuesday April 30th between the times of 7-.30pm-9.30pm. The lessons are completely free and are aimed at getting new skaters on to the ice to enjoy the fun and increase their confidence and skills.

The rink opened last month after much delay over the location it would be placed, and has since been full of ice skating enthusiasts. Speaking about the free lessons, Anney Wiliams, rink manager, said: “It’s an exciting opportunity for anybody who has always wanted to learn how to skate, we want to encourage people to give it a try, the rink is open as normal for skaters.”

The team are determined to make this their fourth victory in the Widnes Cup and retain their title as the champions of Widnes. “With more people signing for our team we have strong members in each position and train twice a week to make sure we are playing at our best and are match fit all season.” Leighton added.


Maries - 20 Sims Cross - 18 _______________ Maries - 32 Waterhead - 18


mma Smith is a 21-year-old athlete that has gained great success on the global stage of gymnastics. Starting at the tender age of 8, Emma has gone on to achieve two gold medals and four silver in World, European and British championships. Specialising in trampolining, Emma has a long list of achievements, most notably being the fact that she is the current world record holder for performing the most difficult routine on a trampoline, and she is also the first woman in

the world to complete three triple somersaults in one single routine. She has been representing Widnes on a global stage for 13 years, and hopes to take the next big step in her career. She has avoided all other commitments to make gymnastics her full time job, in order to gain the ultimate gold medal. When illness destroyed her chances of competing in the 2012 games, Emma’s Olympic dreams were destroyed. Talking candidly about what happened in 2012, Emma discusses her dreams for the next Olympics, including her hard training regime.


itting down with a smile on her face and a coffee in her hand, Emma looked tired, more than likely from a long training session with the sporting attire she was wearing. When the interview began, we asked when she decided she wanted to do trampoline gymnastics competitively, she explained how it wasn’t originally her intention. “I started competing competitively when I was about 8, I originally did artistic gymnastics, not trampolining. But at about 13 I had to quit when I got various injuries, so that’s when I moved to trampolining and I started competing straight away, I reached national level within my first year.” She explained. Pre-interview research shown that Emma hadn’t finished her Olympic 2012 trials due to illness, so we asked her to explain what actually happened behind the scenes. “2012 were my first Olym-

pic trials, in 2008 I was cardio workouts as well too young as in gymnastics as general conditioning to you have to be 18 to trial. get to 2016. I feel so proud So I was really nervous, to be able to represent but me and four other girls Widnes and my country.” trialled together and it was going good, I had a good When talking about her chance of getting a place, biggest achievements and if not reserve. Then before proudest moment, Emma my last trial I was told was spoilt for choice, I had glandular fever, it having won a number of wiped medals and me competi“I couldn’t continue out. I tions in her my Olympic dream, I was career. She was gutted” in bed thought for hard about months, I couldn’t train the question before coming because I could have to a decision. ruptured my spleen, so I couldn’t continue my “My proudest achieveOlympic dream and I was ment as a senior gymnast I gutted.” She spoke about became the 2012 European the ordeal with a disapTeam Champion, those are pointed look on her face. definitely highlights.” On a lighter note, Emma is training hard to earn her place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She told us about her training regime. “I am continuing to train as normal, getting my routines steady, trying to stay away from injury and illness so looking after myself with a good diet and physio appointments. I’m doing weight training to up my strength and doing

When the interview came to a close we asked what the ultimate dream is for Emma, where she wants to be in the future, she replied in a determined tone. “The ultimate goal for the future for me is to get to Rio in 2016, get that over, then move to the USA and join a Cirque du soleil show for a couple of years. In the short term I want to maintain my current world

record that i’m holding in difficulty level.” Emma is a Widnes girl that has gone on to achieve great success in her chosen sport, you can follow her success in the World Championships, held in Bulgaria, later this year.

ACHIVEMENTS 2008 Won gold in the European Championships. 2009 Won silver in the World Championships. 2010 Won gold in the British Championships. 2011 Won silver in the World Championships. Won Silver in the British Championships.

YEEHAW! RIDING IN THE USA Widnes girl gets once in a lifetime riding job in Colorado, USA

Hannah with her horse during her time at the C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado Local talented horse rider is given the opportunity to teach young children her skills in an elite American summer camp. Hannah Brennan, 21, has ridden horses her whole life, and was shocked when she found she had been offered a job at a summer camp in Colorado, USA. She said: “I just couldn’t believe it, I applied but it was a really high end camp, I didn’t expect much, when they called me, I just didn’t know what to say!” The placement required Hannah to leave her life behind and spend 4 months in the outback of USA teaching young children essential rid-

ing skills. Living in cabins shared with fellow young adults from all over the world, the intensity of the job quickly became apparent. “It was a 6am start, and normally an 8pm finish. Waking the children up, getting them ready, then 6 hours of riding for miles. It was a lot of responsibility.” She continued. Using her advanced horse riding skills, she quickly began to build relationships with the children, their par-

ents and her co-workers, and enjoyed describing to them where she had come from. “I was the only English person on the ranch, they all loved my accent, when I told them I was from Widnes I tried to explain it was near Liverpool, but nobody had a clue, so I just told them it was a small industrial town, nothing like the mountains of Colorado.” She giggled. Horse riding isn’t a popular sport in Widnes with a lack of fields and stables in the area, so Hannah was able to do something she had

dreamed of her whole life. “Not only was I in another country full of excitement, that was amazing, but I was also able to do what I love more than anything in the world - horse ride - and I did it for hours on end in some of the most beautiful places i’ll ever see.” Hannah added. The opportunity was given by the Camp America programme, who focus on helping young students into sport and other related jobs all over the USA.

To apply for Camp America visit campamerica.

Vixen Elite launched 2 years ago and are a group of 15 young girls with a passion for dance. Originally the cheerleaders for The Widnes Vikings, the girls are accustomed to large crowds after performing in front of thousands at the Super League opening. Since then, the girls have decided to branch out, and pursue a career in commercial dance. By creating their own group, where they perform for local events and night clubs, and train 5 days a week to perfect their intricate routines. Developing from cheerleading the girls now specialise in all varieties of dance. We caught up with some of the girls to find out more about their dancing careers, training, and their ultimate goals.

How long have you benen dancing? ___________________

What else do you do to keep yourself fit? ___________________

What is your ultimate goal? ___________________

Laura Walsh, 21: All my life, ever since I knew where my feet where i’ve been dancing. Chloe Gedman, 16: 12 years all together i’ve been dancing Alyssa Riley, 21: 10 years Katy Paul, 21: 8 years Amy Hall, 21: 15 years

Amy Hall, 21: Zumba, the gym, ‘legs, bums and tums’ Katy Paul, 21: The gym and dancing in uni Laura Walsh, 21: Yoga, Zumba, and the gym. Chloe Gedman, 16: P.E in school as well as swimming Alyssa Riley, 21: Zumba, yoga and the gym

Chloe Gedman, 16: To become a professional choreographer and dancer Amy Hall, 21: To continue with Vixen Elite, keep fit and learn new skills. Alyssa Riley, 21: Ultimately I want to teach dance at any level. Laura Walsh, 21: I have always wanted to teach dance, I am studying to teach P.E at uni so I will be teaching dance in school. Katy Paul, 21: To eventually be a professional choreographer and dancer

Victoria park has basket and tennis ball courts and a skatepark boasting a 6ft ramp, a quarter pipe and grind rails, the park is perfect for skaters and BMX riders, and is often jam packed with people of all ages and skills.

The Stobart Stadium is the home of The Widnes Vikings, it has a gym open to non-members with great facilities, as well as an on-site shop for sporting equipment.

DW Gym is a membership-only gym which has high quality equipment and memberships to suit all ages. There is also a sauna and pool, and numerous gym classes and sessions available to non-members.

Kingsway Leisure Centre has facilities for all needs. With two large swimming pools, a high-tech gym and bookable indoor football and tennis areas.



isa Thomas is a 22-year-old sports development student from Widnes, her passion for sport and her passion for her favourite club landed her a job at Everton FC as a trainee sports scientist. As a sports scientist for the club, Lisa is faced with the task of monitoring the player’s height, weight, diet and nutrition, and seemingly has a dream job for an Everton supporter. “It’s surreal. I work at Finch Farm which is also the training facility for the men’s team. I get to go to Everton games, I also get to wear the training gear, stuff i’ve spent thousands on as a fan! I put 100% into every day at work because I know how lucky I am.” She said.

Since beginning her post at the club, Lisa has gained new recognition for Women’s football, having worked closely with the women’s team for most of her career so far, she describes how some of the women in the team would be ideal candidates for the dominating male premiere league, and would give the men a run for their money in football. “I’m more passionate about women’s football more than ever, I see the girls go to work on a daily basis, and then train at night, they have to work to make a living. Some of the ability they have is staggering, there’s one particular girl who wouldn’t be out of place at professional level in men’s football, and she even has 120 caps for England.”

In a bid to change perception of women’s football, Lisa argues that most people doubt female footballer’s ability without ever seeing them play, and that they should receive more recognition, similar to the men’s league. She has been going above and beyond her role at Everton ladies and helps run ‘soccer clinics’ arranged by England ladies footballer Natasha Dowie. The clinics take place during school holidays and are strictly for women, in order to develop the next generation of female footballers. As well as the soccer clinics, Lisa’s passion for women’s football also sees her coaching alongside Liverpool FC player Fara Williams. Every week the

women coach football to the homeless girls of Liverpool to occupy them. “It’s a completely volunteer based role I do with women from different hostels throughout Liverpool, but seeing the girls smile and having a good time makes it worth every minute!” Lisa is at university, and has discovered an interest in marketing for ladies football, and she hopes that women’s football will become better known. “I’d love Everton Ladies Football Club to be a full-team side the same as Liverpool Ladies, so that these girls and my now friends are known as real footballers. To be part of that development would be a dream for me.”

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, ON TO THE FOOTBALL PITCH TWO OF THE TOWNS BUSIEST TAKEAWAY SHOPS COMPETE The top two highest rated takeaway shops in Widnes have decided to take their rivalry out of the kitchen and onto a 5-a-side football pitch. Hollywood Pizza and Papa’s Pizza, both located on Albert road, both have 5 stars on takeaway website Just-Eat, and are famous in the town for providing the best food, however their food hygiene rating becomes irrelevant every Sunday afternoon, as now both teams meet to compete in a 5-a-side football match. The craze has attracted many fans of both shops, who attend their matches at King-

sway leisure centre every week to watch employees of both battle it out. Chris Graham, a delivery driver for Hollywood Pizza who takes part, said: “it’s just a bit of fun, but it gets really competitive. We are so close in the pizza competition, we are both determined to be crowned the football winners” Both teams have 5 players, all employees from both shops, many of who come from all over the world. including Kurdistan, Libya and Iran, as well as several of the delivery drivers like Chris, hailing from Widnes. Anybody can go along and watch the fun

take place at Kingsway Leisure Centre on Kingsway Road in Widnes. The rivals begin their match at 12pm in the afternoon and return to

normal takeaway life for their 5pm opening times. Hollywood Pizza have won the last 3 games played against Papas and remain undefeated.

We have compiled a list of all of the things Widnes has to offer throughout the entire month of May, special promotions and things to get involved in, if it’s for entertainment or if it’s to get fit and enjoy sport, the best places and events are in here.

Free skate lessons to 14-25 year olds at Widnes Ice Rink. Tuesday evenings, 7.30pm-8.30pm. ___________________________

Widnes Vikings V Huddersfield, Friday 16th May at Stobart, £20 a ticket / £10 juniors. ___________________________

Free swimming at Kingsway Leisure Centre for parents and kids under 8 years every Thursday 1pm-3pm. ___________________________

Skating competition, Victoria Park, Thursday 2nd of May, free for spectators. ___________________________

Legs, bums and tums at Kingsway leisure centre, £2 each per-

Widnes Cup Final at Stobart, Widnes Maries Vikings V West Bank, Thursday 23rd of May,

£1 bowling all day Sunday at Hollywood Bowl at The Hive. Each game just £1 a time, usually £5 throughout the week.

DW Gym on Marzhan Way is offering special teen membership to sign up in the month of May only, £11 a month.



Widnes teen smashes his personal best to win medal


om Craig defeated competitors and his own personal best record yesterday in the Cheshire Swimming champions, and swam his way to a silver medal.

breaststroke at the event which took place in Macclesfield. This marked is the young swimmers third year in a row beating his own personal time, and he hopes to continue the trend.

The teenager came a very close second place in his expert race, the 50 meter

“I’m not going to lie, it’d be fantastic to get a new record every single time I compete,

hopefully I can do it.” He said. Also competing at the championships was another local Widnes teen Thomas Roberts, who won doublebronze at the event and finishing sixth overall in the boy’s category on the day of the competition.


he Master Sken Academy (MSA) in Widnes has a range of facilities for thai boxing and general fitness, and offers one-on-one training and group classes.

Thai teacher Paul Lund who runs the centre thinks that people have the wrong idea about thai boxing, and eve-

rybody should give it a go.

“A lot of people think it’s all about fighting, but there’s a lot more to it. We have had people in here who had been bullied and we do a lot of anti-bullying work, people walk in scared and insecure, and leave with confidence and skills.”



he Merseyside School games took place in Merseyside this week, however the organisers decided the best place to host the table tennis event was at Widnes’s top table tennis centre, boast-

ing some of the best facilities in the North West.

refereed all of the matches that took place.

Members of the centre supported and helped to run the event, while year-10 students at local school Wade Deacon

Calday school in Merseyside reigned victorous followed by Calderstones school and St. Francis.

Alex Gerrard is expected to be out of The Widnes Vikings for up to 8 weeks due to a knee injury after he tore ligaments in his leg during Widnes’s clash with Doncaster earlier this week. The 21-year-old recently signed a new 3-year contract with the team after stating he was “very happy” playing for the Vikings. Doctors have advised Gerrard that he will not need surgery on his injury, but have suggested he stay away from any physical activity.

DW GYM IS TO OPEN TO TEENAGERS After years of being strictly adults only, David Whelan gym in Widnes is to begin offering membership to under 18’s for the first time. The membership allows teens aged 13-18 to enjoy the full facilities of the gym, including all of the gym classes, for a discounted price of £11 a month. As well as the teen membership, full-paying adults can also bring their children along for a £5 fee per session if they want to involve their children in more sport. The offer for both ends June 1st.

Widnes Weekly Sports  

Final project piece to complete a degree in International Journalism. A new magazine concept for a weekly sport magazine in the town of Widn...

Widnes Weekly Sports  

Final project piece to complete a degree in International Journalism. A new magazine concept for a weekly sport magazine in the town of Widn...