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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
NSW Waratahs lock Jed Holloway has been recognised for his ongoing support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation (Starlight), being named as an official ambassador of the organisation today.
Holloway joined the entire NSW Waratahs team yesterday for their annual visit to the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to spread the Christmas cheer to the kids and families at the Starlight Express Room.
The 24-year-old has been personally touched by their work; his cousin and close friend, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of nine, fought the disease with the help and care of Starlight before it finally took his life at 20 in 2003.
Holloway has since remained a dedicated advocate, making his own regular visits to the Starlight Express Room at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to help Starlight with their mission to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
Speaking at the NSW Waratahs’ annual visit yesterday, Holloway said it was an honour to become an official ambassador for an organisation so close to his heart.
"Starlight supported my cousin for a long time. Unfortunately he passed away from leukaemia so once I got into a position of significance at the Tahs I thought what better way to give back to these kids here and the cause as well," Holloway said.
"I love visiting because it really puts a smile on their face and it definitely puts a smile on mine.
"Words can't even describe how much pleasure I get out of it because they all really enjoy it, especially this close to Christmas.”
Sitting out the 2016 season after suffering a shoulder injury ahead of round 11 this year, Holloway made it his aim to do as much in the community as he could, visiting the Starlight Express Room as well as a range of other organisations, rugby clubs and clinics throughout the year in locations across NSW. He ended the season topping the 2016 NSW Waratahs community service time, clocking up a total of 56 hours.
His efforts were recognised with nominations for the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) Community Service Award and the NSW Waratahs’ Waratah Medal for on and off field excellence this year.
Following his Super Rugby debut for the NSW Waratahs in 2013, Holloway has stepped up amongst the new leaders in the team for 2017 after successfully making a name for himself both on and off the field with a string of standout performances this year.
His heroics were highlighted in round four against the Highlanders when he hit the record books after crossing for the most individual tries in a match for NSW (three) as a replacement since 1882.
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The New South Wales Rugby Union is mourning the loss of former Waratah and Wallaby backrower Denis O’Callaghan, who passed away earlier this week.