Caledonia Gladiators women’s team paid a special festive visit to young patients as they handed out Christmas gifts at Glasgow Children’s Hospital.

The entire women’s squad at Scotland’s professional basketball franchise chatted with children, their families and staff during the visit to the hospital.

Patients on the wards were delivered foam fingers, gladiator hats and clappers while they spoke to the team about their own sporting goals. Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity is the official charity partner of Caledonia Gladiators while it additionally sponsors Erin McGarrachan, the women’s team captain.

McGarrachan said: “It’s been a real pleasure meeting the families and chatting to the youngsters about what they’re wishing for from Santa. I know Christmas can be a hard time of year for these children and their families and it’s been so inspiring to see how positive these kids are despite the circumstances they’re facing.

“This charity is held close to the hearts of everyone at Caledonia Gladiators – they do some incredible work to support young people and their families, which aligns with our values as a team.

“Going around the hospital with my teammates and seeing the kids’ wee faces light up when we entered the room has been so heartwarming.”

Kirsten Watson, CEO, of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said: “It was an absolute joy to welcome Erin and the squad to the hospital. Caledonia Gladiators have such a strong community spirit, which shone through during their time with us as they chatted and laughed with the children and families. It means so much to our young patients to know that people are thinking of them in the hospital at Christmas, and we’d like to say a very special thank you to the players for taking time out of their busy schedule to visit.”

Steve and Alison Timoney, owners of the basketball franchise, have been avid supporters of the charity for many years, making the partnership one that is close to the hearts of all at the club.

The Caledonia Gladiators women’s team are currently unbeaten in all home games at the club’s new multi-million-pound facility at Playsport in East Kilbride and are set to compete in the next round of the EuroCup Women later this month, as the club became the first ever Scottish women’s basketball team to qualify out of the group stages of a European competition.