As a result of a generous donation pledged by wheelchair suppliers – Chairman’s Industries, made at the BrightRock Play the Bounce Springbok Braai held last year in June, we were able to provide a much needed replacement manual wheelchair to our recipient Gerhard van der Wath from Clanwilliam.

Gerhard very happy after receiving his new light-weight chair.

Gerhard sustained spinal cord damage in 2011, following a rugby injury whilst playing for his school’s first team – Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium in Clanwilliam, about 2 hours north of Cape Town. He was 16 at the time and in grade 11. Following the accident, his school, family and close knit farming community rallied around him providing support and encouragement and before long he was back and school, this time in a wheelchair and more determined than ever to keep pushing forward. His goal was to complete his schooling and continue with his “new normal”.

Gerhard completed schooling in 2012 and is studying Computer Science and Math through Unisa. He also still finds the time to help out with coaching the netball team at his old school which is next door to his home.

Thanks to this show of kindness from Chairman’s Industries Gerhard has a new set of wheels and is incredibly happy with his long-awaited upgrade! The new state of the art light weight manual wheelchair, he says has literally “changed his life”. He can now self-propel more easily and get around quickly and independently.

We are eternally grateful for all our longstanding partners and sponsors who enable the Players’ Fund to play the role of Rugby’s Caring Hands.