For 40 years, the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund has been Rugby’s Caring Hands in South Africa. When a South African rugby player runs onto the field, he does so with a team behind him.
When this player finds him or herself having to adapt to life with a “new normal” after a serious and life-altering injury, a team approach is once again needed to lift them up.
Since 1980 the Players’ Fund and every member of their support squad, joins this team, and we do so indefinitely. Within the report, which can be found here, an overview of the Players’ Fund is presented with recipient stories of hope and positivity.
Jean de Villiers, Chairman of the Players’ Fund, opens the latest edition of the Impact Report with following words:
“There is no doubt that 2020 was a difficult time for the people of South Africa and our economies. The crisis around the COVID-19 pandemic has left no one untouched.
"The virus is not only claiming human lives - it is subjecting individual countries and the global political order to extraordinary stress rarely seen during times of peace.
"But these challenges only reinforce our resolve to continue working towards our vision - to be an internationally recognised organisation that supports the recovery and improves the quality of life of rugby players in South Africa, who have suffered serious injuries on the field, whilst promoting safer rugby."
Also included are stories of recipients such as Adriaan Kruger, who was injured on 27 September 1990 at the age of 18 while participating in a rugby practice at Frans du Toit High School in Phalaborwa, a week after his matric farewell, as well as Siko Mani, who was injured on 4 April 2009 at the age of 21 while playing for the Gladiator Rugby Club in Port Elizabeth.
There is also a long list included, naming all of the people and companies who supported the Players’ Fund in 2020, one of the most difficult years in the organisation’s history from a fundraising perspective.
Any amount of support goes a long way to ensuring that the rugby players whose lives are changed on the field never feel forgotten by the game.