After more than a decade of varied involvement with Widnes Vikings, Kellen Wood is venturing into pastures new as exciting opportunities beckon in Australia.
His time at Widnes has covered playing through the developing pathways aged 13, then on to Scholarship, Academy & Reserves before COVID & financial difficulties severely curtailed further playing progress.
He stayed loyal to the club throughout these difficult times volunteering in numerous areas including assisting with the training and match day activities alongside his University studies.
During this time at university, Kellen was selected to play for England Students in 2022, winning the Tri-Nations tournament that was held in Ireland.
After graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Sports & Exercise Science he entered part-time community & foundation roles with Wigan Warriors (Continuing to volunteer at Widnes Vikings) before attaining a full-time role with Widnes Vikings 6 months later, delivering exercise-related programs to local schools.
During this time, an opportunity arose to work as Head of the Vikings Community Foundation covering all aspects of what is becoming a rapidly growing area, including Learning Disability, Wheelchair & Women’s rugby.
A long-held ambition to further develop rugby activities on field & off-field in Australia was too good an opportunity to overlook.
After spending last season with Salford Red Devils reserves, he secured a playing contract with Coffs Harbour Comets in the CRL competition which presented itself alongside progressing into working within the NRL with their community and foundation rugby development programs.
On his time with the club, Kellen said: “There have been too many amazing memories during my time at Widnes.
“A few that stand out are experiencing Wembley with the foundation’s own Dylan Bunting through the Matt King Educational Bursary, finding out I was being offered my first professional contract and bawling my eyes out with joy all the way home and going to Toulouse with the first team in 2023.
“I just want to thank everyone who has been at the club during my 10+ years here. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some fantastic people. I want to wish the club all the best for 2024 and beyond!”
Community Foundation trustee, Peter Morris said: “We would like to say a big thank you to Kellen as he leaves the Foundation for a truly life-changing opportunity of moving to Australia.
“His personality and devotion were simply recognised by the participants of the LDRL team at the recent annual dinner.
“They loved him. He will not be forgotten and we can only wish him well.
“He goes to Australia to hopefully take up a position in Rugby league with our blessing and hope that this talented young man achieves all his dreams.”
Everyone at the club would like to thank Kellen for his years of service, he will be sorely missed and we wish him all the best in his endeavours.