New lead­ers to grow fund that helps in­jured play­ers

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Sport -

For­mer Spring­boks Jean de Vil­liers and Hanyani Shi­mange have been elected as chair­man and deputy chair­man at a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing of the Chris Burger Petro Jack­son Play­ers’ Fund.

Af­ter 38 years of lead­er­ship on the board of trustees, Morné du Plessis and Frikkie Naudé both an­nounced that they would be step­ping down from these po­si­tions, ef­fec­tive from Tues­day.

“Our board of trustees helps set us apart from other or­gan­i­sa­tions. The cal­i­bre of trustees and their com­bined pas­sion and com­mit­ment has en­sured a solid foun­da­tion for the fund to do its work,” said Du Plessis.

“All or­gan­i­sa­tions need a suc­ces­sion plan and we are de­lighted that young men like Jean and Shimmy, who have new ideas and pas­sion for the cause, will be tak­ing over the reins of Rugby’s Car­ing Hands.”

De Vil­liers has been a board of trustees mem­ber since Fe­bru­ary 2018 and, as a for­mer Spring­bok cap­tain, is well-po­si­tioned to take over the lead­er­ship reins to grow the fund fur­ther – with the same com­mit­ment and pas­sion he showed on the field dur­ing his pro­vin­cial and na­tional rugby ten­ure.

Shi­mange has been part of the board since Septem­ber 2015. Shimmy’ as he is fondly known, is also a for­mer Spring­bok. He re­mains in­volved in rugby and is cur­rently part of the DHL West­ern Prov­ince coach­ing team.

Both new ap­pointees come at a time of tran­si­tion and re­newal and have a firm base to build on with the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port from the re­main­ing 13 trustees and man­age­ment staff.

In 1980, West­ern Prov­ince full­back Chris Burger sus­tained a fa­tal neck in­jury fol­low­ing a tackle dur­ing a Cur­rie Cup match in Bloem­fontein. At the time, Du Plessis cap­tained the West­ern Prov­ince side and, along with his team­mates, es­tab­lished the then Chris Burger Fund to sup­port rugby play­ers and their fam­i­lies fol­low­ing un­for­tu­nate in­juries on the field.

In 1987 Petro Jack­son, a young player from Kyle­more, near Stel­len­bosch, was fa­tally in­jured dur­ing a match and a sim­i­lar fund was es­tab­lished in his hon­our.

In 1992 these two funds joined forces. Since the for­ma­tion, the play­ers’ fund has acted as Rugby’s Car­ing Hands for more than 500 se­ri­ously in­jured rugby play­ers and is cur­rently ac­tively sup­port­ing 108 re­cip­i­ents. – SA Rugby

De Vil­liers, as a for­mer Spring­bok cap­tain, is well-po­si­tioned to take over the lead­er­ship reins to grow the fund fur­ther

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