Bok Braai delivers for Players Fund

It was an absolute honour and pleasure to be part of the BrightRock “Play the Bounce Bok Braai” this week, and boy did it deliver for the Players Fund. Take in a few pics and deets from the event.

Tank Lanning

Moving away from the formal penguin suite type event, instead it was a much more casual braai with the Boks, held at Monte Casino, with our rooms a mere stroll from the action. My kind of an event!

The Players’ Fund was established more than 30 years ago after Western Province fullback Chris Burger sustained a fatal neck injury, and seeks to assist all SA rugby players that have sustained disabling head, neck and spinal cord injuries. For this reason, the Fund is focused on creating awareness amongst young players on the importance of preventing injuries and playing safer rugby.

On the night, not only did all the Boks arrive and get properly stuck into both the grub and the banter, but the ​Players Charity – a player-driven initiative​ ​ ​established​ by the professional players in South Africa​in 2013 – made a R50 000 donation to the Fund.

​Injured tighthead prop, Julian Redelinghuys​, on behalf of the players,​ visited one of the organisation’s beneficiaries Gerhard Swartz, who suffered paralysis after a freak rugby injury at high school in 2013. Yet he continues to play a role in rugby as a senior technical advisor at the Valke.

“Gerhard’s story is an amazing one. Despite his nightmare circumstances and life-altering scenario, he’s using his story to spread positivity and hope. He inspires others to continue believing as he does regular motivational talks,” Redelinghuys told MyPlayers. “The support from the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Fund made a big difference. They are a wonderful organisation, who look after players affected by the game. They’re a passionate team of individuals, who genuinely care about the people they support.”

Legends to the fore …

And after the successful and entertaining evening, the “Training Day with the Springboks”, held the next day, saw the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) hand over a chunky cheque to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund.

The clinic, hosted at Fourways High School, gave 50 u15 athletes from the Vuka Rugby League a chance to up their game. Led by Stefan Terblanche, Ian McIntosh, James Small, Breyton Paulse, Ethienne Reynecke, Warren Brosnihan and Dale Santon, the legends showed the youngsters how it is done during a 45-minute non-contact training session. There was also a 10 minute BokSmart presentation on injury prevention.

SARLA CEO, Stefan Terblanche, had this to say about the Fund: “In rugby, as in other sports, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. The Fund does amazing work to help injured players live with dignity and purpose, and for that reason, SARLA is honoured to present them with this donation. We thank them for everything that they do and hope that this contribution helps to make a difference in some way.”

Event sponsors, life insurance industry player, BrightRock, became involved with the Players’ Fund as an extension of their Play the Bounce philosophy, which embraces the ever-changing, unpredictable nature of life and of rugby.

A few pics from a fantastic week with the Boks:

My Players handover

Morne and Steffan

Legends and Morne

Kolisi Strauss

Kids playing

Kids and legends

Bros and Steffan

Braai 1

Bok auction

For more info on the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund:

More about the Players’ Charity

The Players’ Charity is an initiative driven by the players aimed at contributing to organisations in their playing communities with funds derived from their collective commercial programme.

Established in 2013, professional rugby players in South Africa have the opportunity to make a difference to worthy causes around the country in partnership with their benefit partners.