Morné du Plessis has been at the helm of the Players’ Fund for over 35 years. Together with the Board of Trustees, the General Manager (Gail Baerecke) and the rest of the office staff, the Fund has developed a reputation built on integrity and honour. Trust in the Fund’s exceptional governance has been established through years of dedication and these values are what guide the  day to day actions of all involved.

TRUSTEES

MORNÉ DU PLESSIS (CHAIRMAN)
Morne du Plessis
Morné was born in Vereeniging in 1949 and has become a legend of South African Rugby. He was first selected as a Springbok in 1971. He then followed the footsteps of his father when he was appointed Springbok captain in 1975. Under Morné’s leadership the Springboks won 12 of the 15 international games they played and in later years managed the Springbok side that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Joburg. It was when he was playing for the Western Province team that he got to know the late Chris Burger and was the captain of the side when Burger sustained a fatal injury in 1960. This tragic accident mobilised Morné and the rest of the team to establish the Chris Burger Fund which has become known as “Rugby’s Caring Hands” since then. Morné has been the Chairman of the Fund since inception and has established an ethos of integrity and compassion.
FRIKKIE NAUDÉ (VICE CHAIRMAN)
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Frikkie played rugby for Shimlas & the Free State between 1973-1975, Maties Rugby between 1976 –1977, for Villagers and WP Rugby between 1978 -1980. Currently he is the Chairman of Intertechnic, an Import & Export Company and has held this role since 1977.

He also is a wine and olive farmer at Yonder Hill Wines in Stellenbosch and Olyfberg olives and oil which is situated in Robertson.

As a retired President of the Maties Rugby Club, it is evident that rugby means a lot to Frikkie, who has served on the Players’ Fund’s board of Trustees since it’s inception in 1980. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Fund.

Frikkie is married to Danila (neé Maartens) with two children Nicola en Daniel.

ANTON ENGELBRECHT
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On the 19th of August 1988, Anton was injured while playing rugby at LC De Villiers Rugby Stadium. He was in his 4th year of his MBCHB degree at the University of Pretoria. He suffered a C5/6 vertebra dislocation and was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic, since then he has relied on a wheelchair for mobility.

Following his accident, he continued and completed a BMedSci degree, as well as a BSc (Hons) in Bio Systems in 1992. After working at Pretoria Academic Hospital, he joined Professional Provident Society (PPS) in 1993 and Alexander Forbes in 1995. Anton went on to complete an MBA in 2004. Currently he is responsible for business development and strategic consulting at Alexander Forbes Health. Providing expert advice into disability equity, accessibility and employment of people with disabilities in the corporate industry.

Anton’s hobbies are wine tasting, reading and visiting new places with his wife Stacey. His most recent achievement was finishing the New York ING Marathon 42km in 6 hours and 15 minutes with a hand cycle.

The Fund has been lucky to have Anton on the Board of Trustees since 2013.

CHESTER WILLIAMS
Trustees
Chester was born on 8 August 1970 in Paarl. He played as a winger for the Springboks from 1993 to 2000 and also played rugby for the Western Province in the Currie Cup. Chester is one of the most popular of all the Springboks, winning fans on the field with his high work rate and off the field through his work in development rugby. He has become an inspiration to rugby players in the under-privileged areas of South Africa.
FC SMIT
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In 1991, there was a welcome addition to the running affairs of the Fund, Well known WP forward FC Smit indicated that he was interested in the activities of the Fund. Morné du Plessis felt that the 25 year old, 2,02 meter and 112 kg flank could be a considerable benefit to the Fund, more especially as a link between current rugby players and the Fund. Other members wholeheartedly agreed and their confidence was not misplaced.

FC matriculated from Jan van Riebeeck High School in Cape Town and after completing  2 years national service went to Stellenbosch University where he studied psychology. He played for WP as a flank forward from 1991 to 1994 before moving to lock position in the scrum. He was chosen for SA in 1992 but played only one test as a Springbok. In 1997, an injury ended his career as a player. Today he is a successful businessman and CEO of Thorburn Security.

FC is still one of the dedicated Fund Trustees.

GEORGE RAUTENBACH
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In 1974 George matriculated from Paul Roos Gynasium and went on to Stellenbosch University to complete his Bacholor’s degree in Economics in 1977.

George first became involved with the Fund in the 80’s when he held a golf day for the Fund in the Eastern Province where he played as lock forward for EP rugby.

After his playing days, he moved on to become founding partner of MegaPro Marketing in 1986.

With his heart as big as his large physical statue, George remains one of the devoted trustees of the Fund today.

JOEL KRIGE
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Joel was born in Worcester and attended Worcester Boys’ High, now called Worcester Gymnasium, played cricket for Boland Schools, studied law at the University of Cape Town (BA. LLB), played under 20 rugby, and served on the SRC in 1977.

Joel is a member of the Cape Bar, practices from Huguenot Chambers in the field of human rights. He has 24 reported decisions on administrative and constitutional law, racially discriminatory practices, land claims, unfair labour practices, and also appears in the  Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. He addressed the Constituent Assembly that drafted the new Constitution, Act 108 of 1996.

Joel joined the fund as an honourary legal adviser and trustee in 2011. He is a published poet with two anthologies of poetry, and has written on the history of cricket at the Cape Bar.

 

HANYANI SHIMANGE
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AKA, Shimmy is a former professional rugby player who represented the Sharks, moved to the Free State and eventually ended up playing for Western Province and the Springboks.

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst in Cape Town, Hanyani also completed a management course at the UCT Graduate School of Business, and spent several years working at the Bester Burke Slingers Advertising Agency whilst playing rugby. Hanyani currently works in the property industry as a business development manager for Aucor property.

Hanyani is also a media broadcaster for Supersport and a keen sports enthusiast. He is still involved in rugby and assists UCT rugby club as one of their coaches and has been involved with the Players’ Fund since 2015.

JOHN SMIT
John was one of Rugby’s most successful players of all time. He was the captain of the South African Rugby team (with an astonishing 111 caps), leading the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007 and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011. John has been a positive driving force behind the Players’ Fund since joining the board of Trustees in 2013.
JOWA ABRAHAMS

 

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Jowa was educated as a teacher and then went on to be a high school principal and until retirement, a Director of Marketing and Development at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He served for five years as Education and Development in Communities Manager at the then Mobil/Energos(Engen) Foundation. Jowa was one of the co-founders of the Chris Burger / Petro Jackson Fund Players’ Fund in 1992 and was appointed by SARU as one of the trustees of the new Fund. Since then he has served as a trustee and later, a member of the Assistance Committee as well as the Executive Committee.

He played rugby from school to National level and has been involved in the administration of the game at all levels for more than 50 years. Jowa was appointed as Life Member of the W.P. Rugby Union in 2012 and life President of the Primrose club for 50 years service.

“It has been an honour for me to serve on the Fund with many rugby legends who render an outstanding service in assisting those rugby compatriots who suffered serious injuries playing the game we all love.” [/two_third_last]

NORMAN MBIKO
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Norman was born in 1945. He was educated at Langa High School in the Western Cape and soon made his mark in the rugby world as a scrum half. He played for the black Western Province Rugby Union from the age of 19 until his retirement from rugby in 1979. He caught the eye of the South African selectors and played for the black South African rugby team from 1964 to 1979. In 1972, the Leopards, as the side was knows, played the first match between a black team and an overseas visiting touring side. Norman has been involved in the Fund since
TIAAN STRAUSS
Tiaan Strauss

 

Tiaan grew up on a farm in the Kalahari and matriculated in 1983 in Upington. He then went to Stellenbosch University where he studied law and acquired a B.COMM.LLB degree.

He worked as a lawyer in Cape Town until the end of 1995, when he and his family moved to Austalia.

In 1998, he joined the Australian Investment Group, a wholesale mortgage provider, as General Manager, where he worked until the end of 2005.

In 2006 Tiaan returned to SA and started working with Megapro Marketing in March 2009 as General Manager of Rugby. Part of his role is running of Premier Interschools as Managing Director.

Tiaan’s rugby career started at Stellenbosch under the watchful eye of Danie Craven. He was selected for WP in 1986 at the age of 20 and played a record 158 times for them, which included 93 as captain.

He was selected for the Springboks in 1992 and played 15 tests for South Africa.

He moved to Australia to play rugby league for 2 years for the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney. He then returned to Rugby Union in 1998 and played for the Waratahs for 3 years. Tiaan was selected for Australia in 1998, who he represented in 13 tests and was part of the World Cup winning team in Wales.

Tiaan retired from rugby in 2000.

He is an avid mountain biker and has completed several races, including the Absa Cape Epic twice.

Tiaan also enjoys surfing and golfing and has a Private Pilots licence.

He joined the Fund as Trustee in 2014.

WAYNE FYVIE
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Most people know the name Wayne Fyvie, former Springbok and Sharks Rugby player. Wayne not only played for these teams but also led them onto the park as their captain – 94 occasions for the Natal, 25 for the Sharks, and 3 test for the Springboks and 5 midweek games. Since leaving the world of rugby in 2001, he has taken the same drive and determination (that resulted in his considerable successes in the sporting arena) into the business world, channelling his energy into a business ventures greenOFFICE. Wayne is still involved in rugby sphere through the South African Rugby Legends Association and has serves as a trustees for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players Fund since.
KHAYA MAYEDWA
 Khaya joined SARU in 2008 as a Commercial Manager and has extensive commercial and marketing experience. He is well respected in the SARU family of sponsors and media. He is a business leader of a different pedigree with an impressive academic background (Bachelor of Commerce – BComm, BComm Honours and Masters in Business Leadership). Without displaying any grandiosity, he still goes about his daily rigors with the same penchant for creative and appealing leadership ideas and an unwavering passion to get it right the first time.

 

 

Currently heading the Government and Stakeholder Relations Division of SARU, he exudes energy in abundance which allows him to juggle his many roles as an entrepreneur, an ordained minister, a father and husband, a licensed marriage officer, a Bible expositor, a counselor a motivational speaker, a well-known gospel musician, producer and a prolific orator.

CLINT READHEAD

2 (2)Born in Johannesburg and matriculated from Jeppe High School for boys in 1988. After this I ventured down to Cape Town and the plan was to get a degree and then move back to Johannesburg. Well I fell in love with Cape Town and never left.

I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1993 at the University of Cape Town. After qualifying I worked for two years in the Spinal Unit at Conradie Hospital and it was here that I developed the understanding of the life changing journey a neurologically injured person has to endure following injury, through rehabilitation and finally trying to integrate back into society. It was through the work I did at Conradie that I was fortunate to watch the opening of the 1995 Rugby World Cup tournament match between the Springboks and Australia as a guest in the CBPJPF suite at Newlands. Rugby has been an integral part of my career, I have been actively involved in rugby for over 20 years. I have worked at all levels of the game and was a member of the South African u21 teams that won the Junior World Cup in 1999 and 2002. I become the physiotherapist for the Springboks in 2003 and was part of the Rugby World Cup Winning Springbok Squad of 2007, a career highlight. In 2008 I moved across to rugby administration and is the current Medical Manager at the South African Rugby Union.

I am married to Pippa who is an amazing women and together we have two wonderful children; Mathew, who is 12, and in his final year of primary school at Rondebosch and Emily, who is 10, and attends Rustenburg Primary School.

NEIL STRYBIS (HONORARY FINANCIAL ADVISOR)

Neil started his career at Shotland Sevenus Giles and Hobson, one of the firms which later became known as PKF (Cape Town) Inc. after completing his national service. In 1988 he qualified as a chartered accounting and in 1989 was appointed as a director.

During his career, Neil gained extensive experience and expertise in auditing, accounting, taxation and business consulting which allowed him to build outstanding relationships with key role players in the printing, retail, manufacturing and advertising industries.

He strongly believes in the values of maintaining strong relationships through sound communication and the delivery of quality professional services

STAFF

GAIL BAERECKE – GENERAL MANAGER

Gail
I grew up in Durban, KZN and moved to Cape Town in the early 80’s where I furthered my nursing career in both the public and private sectors. I joined the Players’ Fund team in 2005, and immediately became part of the Players’ Fund family. I have found it an immense privilege and a time of enormous personal growth working and managing the Players’ Fund over the years. I continue to be inspired by the heroes of rugby who manage to pick up the broken pieces and continue with their lives under often difficult and challenging circumstances. Witnessing how many of the Fund’s boys focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities has strengthened my “can do” attitude. I enjoy working with a team of dynamic and amazing trustees, all who give of their time and expertise willingly and for no financial gain, all to ensure that the Fund’s recipients are taken care of.

 

 

 

 

TORI GARDNER – EVENT & MARKETING COORDINATOR

Tori
Since joining the Fund in March 2014 I have learned so much; about people, about spinal cord injuries, about rugby and most of all about what it means to be strong. Every recipient I meet hits a nerve that I don’t think would have ever been exposed in any other job. For many, the simplest actions are mountains for them to overcome, and they do so with strength and determination that shows me how incredible the human spirit can be. The families we meet and the places we are taken to enrich my life and make coming to work every day an adventure I’m privileged to have been invited on.

KIM MCBAIN – GENERAL & FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATOR

I am married to Chad McBain and we have been blessed with two kids, Yharni and Peyton.

I started at the Players’ Fund, July 2017 as the General and Financial Administrator.  I have already learnt so much about the daily office functions, the various injuries and our recipients.  I am extremely happy to be a part of the Players’ Fund and where I can help people make a difference in their lives.

My dad had a saying which grew onto me and I have continued saying it to myself when I needed to be motivated, “If I persist I will succeed!”  My dream is to encourage our recipients with this saying and hopefully I can help them make a difference to their lives, making their dreams become a reality.

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