BATLEY BOYS – and girls – are getting ready for a rugby league opportunity of a lifetime.
Members of the under-7s and under-8s teams will be stepping out onto the hallowed turf of Wembley as mascots at this year’s rugby league Challenge Cup final between St Helens and Warrington next Saturday (August 24) and 16 players will walk hand-in-hand with some of their rugby idols as they enter the arena.
They will also get the chance to meet Prince Harry, who is the special guest for the showpiece final as the sport’s patron.
Junior chairperson Tina Alcock said the club had to pick names out of a hat to decide which lucky children would get the chance to be a mascot. A group of around 100 parents and children are going with them for the game. And Tina hopes “we can have a blue and white section at Wembley”.
She said: “I was quite cheeky to be honest and asked the RFL ticket office how we would go about being mascots for a big event this year.
“I just asked if we could be involved with the Challenge Cup final and we got a phone call back saying the kids could be mascots.
“They’re really looking forward to it, they’re really excited. A few of the kids are rugby and football fans so it’s a double whammy because it’s a special place for both sports.
“I don’t think they really know how big an occasion it’s going to be, when they get there it might be a bit nerve-racking waiting to go onto the pitch.”
And the youngsters will all be kitted out in a special Wembley shirt which has been sponsored by local man David Crossley, of Trade Kitchens Direct.
Tina added: “It’s something we thought we would never do, so it’ll be really special. We’re very lucky.”