No Man Is An Island – Poem by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
These wise words epitomise how we see ourselves within the global arena of organisations/charities involved with rugby injuries, player welfare and rugby safety. Being inclusive and all encompassing, allows us to share information, learn from one another through personal experiences and be there to assist when our help is needed.
In February 2015, the New Zealand Rugby Foundation hosted an inaugural 3 countries meeting in Wellington, namely SA (Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund and BokSmart), NZ (New Zealand Rugby Foundation & RugbySmart) and Australia (Hearts in Union & Smart Rugby), with the purpose of sharing and learning from one another and encouraging more international collaboration. The focus of this workshop was twofold ie: player welfare post injury and rugby safety.
A charter of cooperation agreement was drawn up and signed by the 3 parties. The purpose thereof being, to foster a close relationship by communicating and working together on common objectives for a mutual benefit.
Relationships with the RFU Injured Players Fund and the Matt Hampson Foundation have also been established which have proven invaluable when dealing with cross-border cases which the Fund has been faced with in the past.
NEW ZEALAND RUGBY FOUNDATION
SUPPORTING OUR SERIOUSLY INJURED PLAYERS
The New Zealand Rugby Foundation is an Incorporated Society and registered rugby charity in New Zealand, formed in 1986 by the late Kel Tremain. The Foundation focusses exclusively on the game’s catastrophically injured players. Their core business is:
- Supporting catastrophically injured rugby players with both financial and emotional support
- Fundraising activities
- Working with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZR) to communicate the message of safety first, advocating safe play
Over the years the Players’ Fund has had occasional contact with this organisation. In fact in 2011, two of the Players’ Fund recipients and their carers enjoyed a sponsored trip of a lifetime when they travelled to both Sydney, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand to support the Springboks during the Tri-Nations Tournament. The NZ Rugby Foundation was extremely helpful, assisting the Players’ Fund with the planning of land arrangements, accommodation and activities and provided our travelling party with a warm welcome.
More recently in February 2015, the New Zealand Rugby Foundation hosted an inaugural 3 countries meeting in Wellington, namely SA, NZ and Australia, with the purpose of sharing and learning from one another and encouraging more international collaboration. The focus of this workshop was twofold ie: player welfare post injury and rugby safety. A charter of cooperation agreement was drawn up and signed by the 3 parties. The purpose thereof being, to foster a close relationship by communicating and working together on common objectives for a mutual benefit.
HEARTS IN UNION
HELPING RUGBY HELP ITS OWN
Hearts in Union was created as a charity in early 2007. A group of concerned rugby supporters and business men were made aware of the challenges and ongoing assistance that rugby players are faced with after having suffered a severe spinal injury whilst playing rugby union. This they observed first hand from a close friend Rocky Mileto who sustained a spinal cord injury in 1996 and manged to rebuild his life and become an inspiration to many other injured players.
The Hearts in Union Foundation aims to ensure those severely injured players receive the best possible support throughout their lives.
THE RFU INJURED PLAYERS' FUND
SUPPORT AND PROTECT THE RUGBY FAMILY
In July 2015, a young English rugby player on tour with his school team in South Africa sustained a serious spinal cord injury. Being so far from home and his family, meant that the Players’ Fund could step in and be there for him and his parents once they arrived in Cape Town. His hospital stay was a lengthy one as the medical team patiently waited for his condition to stabilise before repatriating him back to a spinal rehab unit in the UK.
Providing emotional and other support to this family in their time of need was a privilege for the Players’ Fund and epitomised our goal of nurturing international collaboration with like-minded organisations.
MATT HAMPSON FOUNDATION
GET BUSY LIVING
The Matt Hampson Foundation is a charity that provides assistance mainly in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and occasionally in other parts of the world when urgent help is needed. Their main aim is to provide advice, support, relief and/or treatment for anyone suffering serious injury or disability which has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport, sporting activity or other form of physical education or recreation.
In 2010, the Players’ Fund were made aware of a young French Rwandan refugee in Cape Town who whilst playing touch rugby in his neighbourhood, chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car. He sustained a very high spinal cord injury which resulted in quadriplegia and being unable to breath independently. It was the Fund’s pleasure to partner the Matt Hampson Foundation and other concerned parties in Cape Town, in the successful repatriation in early 2011 of this young man to France so that he could commence further rehabilitation and join the rest of his family.