New leaders to grow fund that helps injured players
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