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 PlessisMorné 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 13 of the 15 international games they played and in later years managed the Springbok side that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg. 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 1980. 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)

 

1Frikkie 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 andn Daniel.

 

ANTON ENGELBRECHT

Trustees (2)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 and watching his twin boys grow up and explore the world. 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

TrusteesChester 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.

Chester has been a trustee of the Players’ Fund since 2008.

FC SMIT

3In 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. FC is still one of the dedicated Fund Trustees.

 

GEORGE RAUTENBACH

2In 1974 George matriculated from Paul Roos Gymnasium and went on to Stellenbosch University to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1977.

George first became involved with the Fund in the early years when he held a golf day for the Fund in the Eastern Province where he played as lock forward for EP rugby. Soon thereafter, he became a member of the board of trustees and was present at the first annual general meeting on 22 December 1983.

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

Trustees (5)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

Trustees (1)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

_MG_1566Jowa 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]

TIAAN STRAUSS

Tiaan StraussTiaan 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

8Wayne Fyvie is a former Springbok and Sharks Rugby player. Since leaving the world of rugby in 2001, he has taken the same drive and determination into the business world, channeling his energy into a business venture called greenOFFICE.

His involvement tin the Players’ Fund began when he was appointed as the Fund representative in the KZN region in 2005. He was later invited onto the board of trustees where he has been an active member since 2009.

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 an enthusiastic business man with an academic background (Bachelor of Commerce – BComm, BComm Honours and Masters in Business Leadership).

Currently heading the Government and Stakeholder Relations Division of SARU, he has been appointed as the SARU representative on the Players’ Fund board of trustees, a position that he has held since 2016.

 

CLINT READHEAD

2 (2)Clint was born in Johannesburg and matriculated from Jeppe High School for boys in 1988. After this he moved to Cape Town to extend his studies, and never left.

He qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1993 at the University of Cape Town and went on to work in the Spinal Unit at Conradie Hospital for two year. It was here where he 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.

Clint was first introduced to the Players’ Fund in 1995 when he was invited to Suite 301 at Newlands to watch the Springboks play Australia.

In 2003 he became the physiotherapist for the Springboks and was fortunate to be a part of the Rugby World Cup Winning Springbok Squad of 2007, which is remembered as a career highlight. In 2008 Clint moved across to rugby administration and is the current Medical Manager at the South African Rugby Union. Married to Pippa with two children Mathew and Emily.

Clint holds one of the two SARU representative positions on the Players’ Fund board of trustees, a position which he has contributed hugely to since 2017.

JEAN DE VILLIERS

Jean was named captain of the Springboks in June 2012. He played 109 tests for his country and holds the record of 94 of those in the same position as centre and was named the 54th Springbok captain to lead the team. He is also the 4th Springbok captain to join Morne du Plessis, Tiaan Strauss and John Smit as a trustee of the board of the Players’ Fund, after joining in 2018.

Aside from Jean’s history in the green and gold, he is also a Laureus Sport for Good ambassador and currently holds the position of head of Philanthropy for a firm of investment managers and is based in Cape Town. His long history with rugby in SA and his regular appearances on SuperSport as sports presenter together with his professional knowledge of philanthropy will bring a wealth of knowledge for the Fund’s staff to tap into.

Jean is married to Marlie and they live in Paarl with their three children, Layli, Lana and Luca.

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.

Neil has been held the position of Honourary Financial Advisor since 1997.

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 – MARKETING MANAGER
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.

Thank you to all our sponsors & partner organisations!