A community is a group of people who share something in common. A community can be defined by the shared attributes of the people in it and/or by the strength of the connections within. Community members are alike in some ways, feel some sense of belonging and share interpersonal connections.


This year we highlight the importance and value of OUR COMMUNITY without which we could not function optimally.

Definition of community?

A community is a group of people who share something in common. A community can be defined by the shared attributes of the people in it and/or by the strength of the connections within. Community members are alike in some ways, feel some sense of belonging and share interpersonal connections.


Who is part of OUR rugby community

• Our Board of Trustees
• Recipients
• SA Rugby
• BokSmart
• Schools
• Rugby clubs
• Provincial Rugby unions
• SuperSport
• Corporate sponsors
• Donors
• Rugby fans
• Coaches & Referees
• Emergency Medical Services
• Hospital groups
• Department of Health
• Department of Education
• World Rugby
• Sports media
• Like-minded international charities
• Local or international foundations and trusts

What does our immediate community have to say about what they share in common – rugby and what giving back to the sport they love means to them?

“Rugby gave me so much as a kid and then eventually as a professional player. Lots of disappointment but even more great times. The important thing is to learn through it all and it’s the learnings through sport that create value in our lives. To be able to give a little back through the Players’ Fund and contribute to the rugby community is a huge honour.”
Jean de Villiers, Players’ Fund Chairman and former Springbok captain, Philanthropy Manager at Citadel

“Rugby has always been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I have been passionate about the game and everything it brings since I first picked up
the oval ball. I have always been involved in the rugby community in some capacity, as a player, a spectator, a Biokineticist, an S&C coach, a researcher, and as an injury prevention professional. In 2008 I was fortunate to come full circle into living out my profession at the South African Rugby Union. Looking after rugby safety, and helping to prevent catastrophic head, neck, and spine rugby injuries is a privilege I get to live daily.”
Dr Wayne Viljoen, SARU Senior Manager: Rugby Safety

“My role in the rugby support community as an ex-player with a disability has given my life a purpose to carry the light of hope for all affected when a player is seriously
injured while playing the game we love.“
Anton Engelbrecht, Trustee & Recipient of the Players’ Fund, Alex Forbes Consultant

“I fell in love with the game of rugby and the people, the moment I picked up a rugby ball for the first time in high school. Rugby has allowed me to blend my passion and
my profession together. The rugby community ensures that your input is valued, and this makes what I do really worthwhile and I get to enjoy what I do every single day. It is a privilege to be able to give back to a sport that has done so much for me.”
Clint Readhead, Trustee & SARU Senior Manager: Rugby Safety

“I am a massive believer that the biggest thing that makes people happy in life is the community and relationships that they have. Rugby for me is a worldwide community
that I am privileged to belong to and the relationships I enjoy from this community are for a lifetime.”
Wayne Fyvie, Trustee & former Springbok, Greenoffice Director

“Rugby is a contact sport, which for me and all those who love the game means camaraderie, caring and community, as much as the players demonstrating skill
and physical prowess, as they compete on the field.”
Joel Krige, Trustee & Advocate at Law

“When I was welcomed into the rugby family as a young sports doctor, it felt like I was coming home. Within this home, we live and nurture the principles of determination, resilience, humility, kindness and community. And even as we explore outside of this home (community), we are stronger because of it.”
Dr Phatho Zondi, Trustee & Sports Physician

“Being part of the worldwide rugby community has been an important and meaningful part of my life, for which I am truly grateful.”
Morné du Plessis, Founder of the Players’ Fund, Chairman for 38 years, trustee and former Springbok captain

“For me, rugby stands out above all other sports purely for its deep roots in respect and camaraderie. Nowhere in the world have I seen people play as hard as they can against each other for 80 minutes and then not only shake hands, but look out for each other in any way possible from then on, whether a teammate or opposition. The rugby community cares not for one….but for all.”
John Smit, Trustee, Springbok captain and CEO of SSG Security Solutions

“Rugby’s values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship are what have made rugby so special for me. Being involved as a player and now as rugby coach and Trustee of the Players’ Fund is a privilege as I can give back to the rugby community that I love.”
Hanyani Shimange, Trustee, former Springbok, SuperSport Presenter, DHL Stormers coach

It’s a great pleasure to be sharing my fourth report as chairperson of the Players’ Fund – Rugby’s Caring Hands. Since my last report, much has changed in the world and in South Africa, with serious concerns about our economy, our country’s leadership, rising levels of crime, poverty and unemployment. Despite this, one significant up-side was our emergence from the pandemic – the world slowly opening up again, families reunited after two long years, policy was reviewed as far as work from the office or from home and then of course, the cherry on the top – the return of rugby as we know it. Our cups were filled to overflowing watching the players play with heart and gusto in packed stadia filled with adoring, noisy fans. Our only major concern was the money in the bank, or should I say, lack thereof.

With rugby back on the fields, sadly the injuries also returned including a number of fatalities, which one can’t help wondering whether the long-term effects of COVID played a role. These injuries and fatalities serve as a reminder to us as to why after 43 years we continue to serve those whose lives have been negatively affected by a rugby injury. It certainly puts things into perspective when one sees first-hand the support that is offered by the Fund to an injured player and his family in their time of need.

Since our last impact report, a management staff restructuring proposal was accepted by the board and plans put in place to appoint a CEO, a first such leadership role and one aimed at taking the Fund into the next decade. Change management, strategic leadership, strong business networks and income generation were just a few of the key performance areas focused on when recruiting the right person for this new and exciting position. The second new role is that of Injured Player Welfare Manager, with the General Manager position held by Gail Baerecke falling away. This role will be filled by Gail until her retirement at the end of July 2023 and a new recruit found to take over this position. The General & Financial Administrator role currently held by Aashia Hendricks remains unchanged. As a result of this restructuring, the renewed and invested focus of the Fund will be attaining financial sustainability, so that attending to the improved quality of life for our recipients can be our priority and core business.

In ending, many thanks are due. I will begin by expressing my heartfelt thanks to Jowa (Yusuf) Abrahams, a trustee on our board who has served tirelessly for more than 30 years. Jowa decided to step down as a trustee and did so on the occasion of his 80th birthday which we celebrated with him in November. Jowa sat on both the EXCO and Assistance Committees and shared his business expertise and compassion for injured rugby players with the team. We miss him already but know that he is exactly where he is meant to be, alongside his wife Cass Abrahams, enjoying full retirement together.

My grateful thanks to each of the members of my board of trustees for your hard work, dedication and sacrifices made. Our collective and sincere gratitude must go to our management team for their efforts under difficult circumstances. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank our many loyal sponsors, partners, and caring donors for their continuous support of the Players’ Fund, without which we could not deliver the impact that we are proud of.

The importance of The Players’ Fund


The Players’ Fund is the official charity of SA Rugby and the Springboks and has been known as “Rugby’s Caring Hands” for 43 years. We are the support team that looks after all rugby players that have suffered catastrophic injuries playing the game we all love, and have been a part of the South African rugby community since 1980.

Having helped over 600 seriously injured rugby players during that time, we currently have 99 recipients in our Players’ Fund family, and their care, well-being, and quality of life are our main concern. We act as the support structure for these fallen heroes, in particular, support those who are unable to access the appropriate medical care and facilities due to their physical location and personal circumstances.

The game of rugby stretches far and wide across South Africa, from the largest cities to the smallest villages, and this reach creates different challenges for those who have suffered disabling injuries. Access to the appropriate medical care can be hard to come by in rural South Africa where there is poor infrastructure, a lack of reliable facilities (hospitals, clinics), and generally limited support structures around recipients. Medical consumables are difficult to acquire through the standard channels, and wheelchair accessibility seldom catered for. Additionally, these injuries impact
an individual’s ability to work and remain economically active, participate in normal leisure activities, and engage in relationships.

Our role is to ensure that all serious rugby injuries are met with timeous action in the acute phase as well as long term support and care in situations where they would unlikely have it. We aim to address the physical, emotional and social challenges that our recipients face to ensure that they are able to lead normal, fulfilled lives despite the adversity they face, and that they are able to stay connected and involved in the rugby community

Mark Kritzinger

Having helped over 600 seriously injured rugby players during that time, we currently have 99 recipients in our Players’ Fund family, and their care, well-being, and quality of life are our main concern.


The role of the Players’ Fund


Although the Players’ Fund has long term support at its core, we are involved with every serious injury from the outset. A serious injury is evaluated over a number of phases.

Informed & Aware: The Players Funds’ Injured Player Welfare Officer (IPWO) also acts as the Serious Injury Case Manager (SICM) across all forms of rugby at a national level, and from the moment the Serious Injury Case Manager is made aware of a catastrophic injury through the BokSmart reporting process, our work as the Players’ Fund begins.

Acute Phase: During the acute phase immediately following a serious injury, the SICM/IPWO makes contact with the relevant stakeholders to assess the
situation. Firstly with the doctors, referee, medical staff, and first responders to gather as much information on the incident as possible, and secondly with the player’s family to reassure parents and friends that they are not alone and of the support that the Fund offers.

The IPWO monitors the situation during the acute phase, keeping all parties informed about the potential outcomes and support required, with the hope that the injury becomes a “near miss” and that the recipient will make a full recovery. This is however not always the case and where it is clear these players will not make a recovery, they become recipients of the Fund.
Recipient Phase: Prior to discharge from hospital, and in consultation with the rehabilitation team, the unique needs of the recipient are assessed and
support is provided that covers physical, emotional and psychological aspects of the recipient’s needs.



We partner with recipients to ensure they have all the equipment they need to lead lives as independently as possible.

We work together with local builders and suppliers to ensure that recipients’ homes are wheelchair friendly and safe.

Through a partnership with YMS (formerly Ysterplaat Medical Suppliers) we assist all recipients with medical consumables that they are often not able to get in their communities.

Where required, financial support is provided for monthly subsistence, payment of carers, and assisted living facilities for those who cannot live at home.

We encourage recipients to complete or continue their education journeys to remain or become economically active.

Where possible we contribute to the cost of transport for our recipients when urgent medical attention is required, when clinical appointments are scheduled, or to reach academic institutions for study purposes.

Our recipients’ quality of life is an important aspect of our work with them. Regular home visits and being just a phone call away, means that their needs can be regularly assessed and where possible addressed.


Arthur Cullinan, Vryburg


Arthur was in his 4th year of Veterinary Science at the Onderstepoort campus of the University of Pretoria
when he injured his spinal cord in a tackle playing koshuis (hostel) rugby.

Due to the loss of the use of his hands it was no longer possible to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian
and after his hospitalization and rehabilitation he chose to go home to Vryburg in the North West Province and
regroup instead of rushing headfirst into a new direction of study. He found it difficult to let go of something that
was everything he had ever dreamed of and his true passion in life.

Shortly after returning home, he started tutoring Physical Sciences and Mathematics to high school students as a
way to keep his mind busy. This turned into a business and resulted in a 3-year stint as a maths teacher. He
is currently finishing up a BSc degree in Genetics and Physiology and is also busy with a course in Animal

He describes his life post injury being a constant process of adjusting and readjusting. When one sustains a
disabling injury, it’s a ‘start from scratch’ to build a new life for oneself. As the “new normal” starts to expand,
new problems and challenges arise and adapting and adjusting are essential to find new ways to succeed.
This ongoing process keeps repeating itself as one pushes the boundaries of what a new life can be. The
adjusting never stops.

Once he completes his studies, he hopes to start a successful business in the animal pharmaceutical
industry. In the long term he would like to see this merged with a local veterinary practice, where the
veterinarians can be free to focus on the medicine and he can take care of the daily practice management and
pharmaceutical sales. From a personal side he hopes to be living on his own and to be fully independent
by then.

Arthur describes the Players’ Fund as being there for him from day 1 post injury. He says the support given to
him and his family has been immense. They have been there to give advice, information, emotional support
and financial assistance every step of the way. The Players’ Fund purchased his initial mobility equipment
and assistive devices, most of which he is still using. He says that without the Players’ Fund it would never have
been possible to have anything resembling a life, let alone dreams, hope and aspirations for the future.

Arthur describes the Players’ Fund as being there for him from day 1 post injury. He says the support given to him and his family has been immense. They have been there to give advice, information, emotional support and financial assistance every step of the way.

Dr James Hill, Pietermaritzburg


In 1996, when James was 24, he had just completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at Onderstepoort
and was heading overseas for international work experience, when he injured his spinal cord in a club rugby match. This was devasting for him, and his hopes and dreams for the future came crashing down around him. Whilst undergoing lengthy rehabilitation, he carefully considered his future, and realised that going into general veterinary practice was just no longer possible as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair and with minimal hand function. So with a lot of help from veterinary colleagues, he mastered the use of a prodder and the computer, obtained a microscope and began working at home commenting on blood slides for a private veterinary laboratory. He then commenced studying for a Masters in Veterinary Medicine – Clinical Diagnostics, as a distance student of Onderstepoort, and qualified as a Veterinary Specialist in 2010. He started working in a private laboratory in Pietermaritzburg and has subsequently become a partner. Adapting to his “new normal” was a long and often difficult process, but one that he was able to tackle with
the help of his parents, siblings and good friends.

James loves watching sport, especially rugby, cricket, soccer, golf and athletics. Last year in September, he and his Dad set off on a road trip from KZN to Cape Town to watch the Rugby World Cup 7’s Tournament. His other favourite pastime is visiting the game reserves around South Africa. His future plans are to grow the veterinary lab further so he is able to retire.

“I am so grateful to the Players’ Fund who from day one has provided me with support and advice along the road.”

“I am so grateful to the Players’ Fund who from day 1 has provided me with support and advice along the road.”



January 2023: 175670 people have gone through BokSmart training since we launched in July 2009, many with multiple exposures to the programme, and 107732 with at least one exposure.

Incidents (combined school and club)
There were ten (10) spinal cord injuries in 2022, of which two were permanent. The good news was that eight (8) of these were classified as ‘Near Misses’.

Sadly, we also had two (2) catastrophic traumatic brain injury fatalities, and two (2) cardiovascular-related fatalities.

In 2022, the Tackle again contributed to 9 of the injuries (5 to the Tackler; 3 with permanent outcomes, and 4 to the Ball Carrier; 1 with a permanent outcome); the Scrum contributed to 1 injury (not a permanent injury – player was injured during an early engagement); the Ruck contributed to 2 injuries (both ended up as near misses).

SportsCap, the Official Software Partner of BokSmart, has helped us move nicely into the digital space over the last year. With our BokSmart Certification Software Ecosystem (BCSE) being developed in partnership with SportsCap, this has revolutionised how we are able to reach more people, even in their homes and on all Smart technology devices. Clubs and Schools can register, manage, and integrate their rugby coaches, referees, and team medical staff on MyBokSmart.
MyBokSmart (https://my.boksmart.com) already has 563 school and club registrations.

Within the BCSE, we currently have several functional Apps on board. The major one being the MyBokSmart Leaning Management System (LMS), where currently the 7th BokSmart Rugby Safety Course is freely accessible to all. There are also other Apps, such as the BokSmart Certification Checker (https://check.boksmart.com), and Age-banding checker (https://agebanding.boksmart.com). Within SARU, there is also a BokSmart Certification System App dedicated to managing all registrations on MyBokSmart and all BokSmart Certifications that come through the system. We are in the process of expanding the BCSE to include a BokSmart Medical Professional Certification System (BMPCS). We have already created a ‘MyBokSmart Medical’ service provider for this purpose, which currently has several educational modules on it. Keep watching this space unfold.

Who is BokSmart for?
Historically BokSmart was mainly focused on coaches and referees. Coaches and Referees must undergo compulsory Rugby Safety Course training every two years to remain certified to coach or referee. Since the move to online, this has been able to expand our reach to additional stakeholders. With new developments, medical staff will be targeted for upskilling on specific protocols related to their roles in the game, with accreditation level requirements that will have to be completed. Players and Team Managers have also been included on certain modules within the professional

We also encourage players, parents, teachers, on-field medical support staff, and any other interested parties to register and participate on this platform to improve our rugby safety standards across the board in South Africa. All our materials are freely accessible, and the more we join hands towards a common cause, the better it is for the safety of our players.

Rugby is a contact-collision sport, and with that comes the risk (albeit small) of catastrophic injuries, While trying to maintain the integrity of the game, our job is to limit that risk. #VisionZero – One is one too many!


While trying to maintain the integrity of the game, our job is to limit that risk.

#VisionZero – One is one too many!


Actions taken by the Serious Injury Case Manager (SICM) & Injured Player Welfare Officer (IPWO) following serious injuries reported.

Notification of serious rugby injuries are mostly reported to the BokSmart Serious Injury Case Manager (SICM) via the Rugby Unions, clubs, or schools, and according to the BokSmart Serious Injury Reporting Protocol. Once the initial BokSmart report is received, the SICM will then follow up with the rugby club or school, the medical personnel involved and the injured player’s family, to assess the extent of the injury and what help and support is needed. Follow up is then regular until such time as an accurate injury outcome is established. This is often a lengthy process. With all confirmed permanent disabling injuries, the IPWM will then onboard these injured players as recipients of the Players’ Fund.

Injuries reported during the 2022 season
• In February 2022, a young man injured his thoracic spine, which is the mid to upper part of the back. Following successful surgery at Tygerberg Hospital to reduce the dislocation, the rugby player returned home with some minor damage to the spinal cord with the hope that this would resolve in time. The Players’ Fund stepped in and arranged extensive physiotherapy close to home for this young man after his discharge from hospital. A full recovery was made, and he was able to return to work in late 2022.

• Sadly, in April, July and August, three rugby players (1 scholar and 2 club players) passed away during or soon after playing rugby, two from a traumatic brain injury and the other from a heart incident. The Players’ Fund were able to offer the families support in their time of grief and a contribution was made towards the funeral costs.

• In April, a club rugby player damaged his spinal cord in the neck region. He too underwent surgery to stabilise the injury. The Players’ Fund was then able to arrange 12 weeks of specialised spinal cord
rehabilitation at the Aurora Hospital in PE for this young man. His sheer determination and exemplary work ethic, saw him walk out of the hospital with an assistive walking device and single leg support only. Since then, he too has spent many months working with a physiotherapist in his hometown, and training on his exercise bike that was purchased for him and his progress has been phenomenal. He is expected to return to work this year.

• A further 8 potentially catastrophic spine and spinal cord injuries were reported on during the course of the season. Thankfully, with the most appropriate care at the right time; some involving surgery, specialised rehabilitation, plus additional support provided by the Players’ Fund where needed, i.e., specialised back brace, transport to rehab sessions, a full recovery is expected. Three of the five were learners and are all back at their respective schools.

• In July, another young man sustained a severe injury to his spinal cord and because of the extent of his disability, has become a recipient of the Players’ Fund. Following surgery, the Players’ Fund were able to reach out to our friends at the Aurora Hospital in PE where he spent an extended period undergoing intensive rehabilitation learning to live optimally with a spinal cord injury. The Players’ Fund purchased his mobility equipment i.e.: wheelchair, pressure cushion, bath commode, and embarked on a building project at his family home which was not wheelchair friendly or accessible at the time.


Simnikiwe Bosman, Grahamstown


Simnikiwe from Grahamstown was injured in 2021aged 16 whilst playing for the Graeme College 1st rugby team. An unfortunate tackle caused a catastrophic injury to his right knee. The disruption to the mechanics of the knee were so severe that an amputation of his lower limb was performed in order to save his life.

For this young man at the peak of his sporting career, this was devastating. Initially he was unable to imagine his future without a leg and the changes that he would have to make and describes it as a drastic change of lifestyle.

Thankfully, his family and his therapist helped him to adjust to a “new normal” which he embraced with the help of his school friends and staff at Graeme College. Last year, he was gifted with a running blade, and he hopes once he has mastered the art of blade running, that he will one day be able to compete in the Paralympics.

He has remained involved with rugby, a game that he still loves and is part of his school’s coaching team. He
also works out at the gym a lot and plays in the steel band at school.

Simni is currently in his matric year and hopes to study further after school.

“I am so grateful to the Players’ Fund for being there for me from the start. They organised for me to meet a fellow amputee just before my surgery and this gave me and my family hope for the future. They purchased a temporary prosthesis for me which I used for almost a year, until my medical aid was able to provide me with a permanent one. With the help of Graeme College, they helped me get down to Cape Town for two weeks during the mid-year school holidays in 2022 and put me through the paces with an intense rehab programme at The Enable Centre.”


“I am so grateful to the Players’ Fund for being there for me from the start. They organisedfor me to meet a fellow amputee just before my surgery and this gave me and my family hope for the future”

Donovan Botha, Montagu


During the school holidays in June of 2009, Donovan then aged 17 from Montagu, took part in a rugby match playing for the local club and injured his neck during a scrum and sustained spinal cord damage. With the implementation of BokSmart (national rugby safety programme) in 2010 it was ruled that it was no longer legal for under-age players to play club rugby and especially not in the front row. Looking back and with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, this injury could
have been prevented.

Donovan had plans to join the SA Defence Force after matriculating and hoped to study further whilst there. He had to change direction and plan for a very different future following his injury and extensive rehab at the Western Cape Rehab Centre in Cape Town.

Since then, he has been involved with building computer software and is a sought after motivational speaker where he focuses on topics that help young people in his community in making the right choices in life.

Donnie found it very difficult in the beginning to adjust to living as a person with a disability and accept that this was for life. However, with his strong Christian faith and belief in the heavenly father he serves, acceptance came, and he started to live again.

His mother, sisters, an uncle and members of his church have partnered with him through thick and thin, the difficult period before acceptance and since then. They are his #supportsquad and he is surrounded by a community that cares for their own and for him.

Although injured in rugby, Donovan is one of rugby’s biggest fans. He loved watching the DHL Stormers play in Cape Town in December at the DHL Stadium.

Donavan’s final message/comment which he asked us to include in his story is as follows:
“Don’t think I’m sugar coating it but I’m only telling the truth. If it wasn’t for the Players’ Fund, I wouldn’t know what I would have done, they were there from day one of my injury and have walked with me for 13 years. They play an enormous role in my life and I thank God for putting them in my path after my injury. I pray that God will bless each and every one of them as words can’t describe how grateful I am for their support. I need 1000 pages to tell everyone what the Fund means to me and that still won’t be enough.”



“Don’t think I’m sugar coating it but I’m only telling the truth. If it wasn’t for the Players’ Fund, I wouldn’t know what I would have
done, they were there from day one of my injury and have walked with me for 13 years”

We are very grateful for all our sponsors, partners, and donors, big and small, that make it possible for us to deliver the work we do. Our #SupportSquad is a vital part of our community, and this report is written especially for you. Thank you for your ongoing support, it means the world to us.


Carl Smit (53)

3 April 1969 –
1 January 2022


Arthur Abrahams (49)

5 February 1973 –
3 August 2022


Sicelo Ngubu (35)

14 January 1987 –
28 July 2022


Mlindeli Nojiva (39)

12 June 1983 –
12 December 2023

Former Trustee

HO de Villiers (76)

10 March 1945 –
20 February 2022

Since our 2021 Impact Report, the 2022 year started positively with the world opening up and the reemergence of travel which reunited families and friends after a long separation. From a business perspective, the “mopping up” had to start in earnest and our key focus areas ramped up somewhat to include a continued healthy regard for income, expenses, succession planning and relationships.

INCOME: During the tough times in the past few years, when many normal and expected sources of income were literally turned off, we resorted to other methods to
generate much needed income that were less often used in the past. One thing which never waived, was the interest in rugby memorabilia. We had some excellent
stock and we found innovative ways to sell it in order to keep our ship afloat. These were sold as auction items, either online or at events.

We also embarked on targeted appeals for help and generous donors from all walks of life heard our plea via social media, online appeals and online fundraisers. They responded by digging deep to help ensure that we could keep taking care of our rugby players who had sustained life changing injuries. It was humbling and awesome, all at the same time.

EXPENSES: In this time, we have learnt what it is like to turn over a penny three times before parting with it. We went back to the very basics. This again was a team
effort from the following:
• Our General & Financial Administrator who took meticulous care of the finances
• Strict monthly Income & Expenditure reviews
• Daily cash flow checks, to make sure we were still in business
• Planned investment withdrawals with the help & guidance of Citadel
• Recipients partnering with us on doing their best to keep costs down

SUCCESSION PLANNING: Making plans for change is often a bit uncomfortable, time consuming but at the same time exciting. Fortunately, COVID gave us an unexpected boot into realizing that acquiring skilled staff with “change management” skills was required. After more than 40 years of the same business model, “strategic planning” is essential to take us forward into the new and very different future. Handling of the
commercial side of the Fund with gusto and renewed energy was needed.

With my retirement happening mid 2023, We put our heads together to restructure the management staff to include a new CEO position as well as that of an Injured Player Welfare Manager. By doing this, the two important and key aspects of the Players’ Fund
would be addressed i.e. financial sustainability and the continued concern for the quality of life and support of our recipients.

To add to this, on June 1 we also moved, from being happy tenants at SSISA for 14 years to happy office workers at SARU House. The office park on the hill in Plattekloof is a hive of activity and one that we have embraced with both arms. Being surrounded by rugby talk, rugby activations, commercial negotiations, Springboks, Springbok media, Friday fun and an incredible team who have welcomed us so warmly and who now consider us family, has been a game changer.

RELATIONSHIPS: More than ever before, the importance of business & recipient relationships during the trying times has paid off in so many ways as we have emerged
out the other side. Staying in touch, reconnecting, being present, interested and confirming our commitment to the rugby community and our injured rugby players has
benefitted us tenfold. Some examples have been:
• Providing & receiving guidance
• Sharing leads
• Opening doors for financial & donor opportunities
• Word-of-mouth advertising
• Potential business partners and colleagues
• Building new connections
• The development of good friendships

We now have new leadership in place, and this comes with new direction, new innovative ways of doing things, new ideas and new energy. The time is perfect
for this!

At the same time I can’t deny that I feel a sense of sadness as I come to terms with a changing of the guard, a role that has been such a calling for me personally over
the past 17 years as GM of this extraordinary Fund. I will always cherish this chapter in my life and my time with the Fund. It has been so memorable working with our trustees, my management colleagues and of course the many recipients that I have met over this time, they are all indelibly etched in my heart. I will start the “3rd chapter” of my life at the end of July 2023 and will do so with a library of wonderful memories which I will
carry with me whilst I find new purpose and direction for myself. I have a feeling the future will involve lots of travel and family time and more than a few adventures
which really excite me.

As this will probably be my last Impact Report, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for the role that you have played and continue to play in this
Fund. As corporate sponsors, partners and individuals, thank you being part of our #supportsquad. It takes a village to bring up a child and this is the important
role that you have played within the Fund. Thank you for caring for the needs of others, especially our brave young men and women whose lives have been changed by rugby, the game we all love. Living with disabling injuries is not easy, but with your help it has made it more manageable for our recipients.

This Fund would not be the organisation it is without your loyal support, compassionate care, guidance, expert input and commitment.