Fund recipient Charles Oppelt was injured in a rugby match in 2002 at the age of 17 while in grade 10. From the West Coast town of Mamre in the Western Cape, the reality of being permanently paralysed and wheelchair bound was understandably very difficult for Charles and his family to accept. The road ahead seemed daunting, but with the support of his loving family, community and the Players’ Fund, Charles adapted to life as a disabled person and soldiered on.
His positive attitude and strong faith was key in Charles completing grade 12 in 2005 and thereafter an IT administration course.
Charles’ love for rugby however prevailed and he joined the University of Stellenbosch’s Maties Wheelchair Rugby Club in 2015 and represented Maties at various tournaments.
Last month Charles was selected for the 1st of 4 training camps for the SA Wheelchair Rugby team and we are proud to share his achievement in being selected for the 2nd camp. A step closer to the national team! Hard work and sheer determination to succeed has lead Charles to this wonderful accomplishment.
Wheelchair rugby requires a high level of strength, fitness, speed and endurance. The challenge of having a physical disability has not deterred individuals who participate and their courage, bravery & focus on their abilities is truly commendable.
A quote from Charles, “I never thought that I would ever play rugby again but wheelchair rugby has changed my life. My motto in life is to make use of every opportunity because it is very seldom that life gives you a second chance.”