Disabled former rugby players from across South Africa, with the help of the United Kingdom and Ireland are set to benefit later this month as two of the official charities of the Springboks and British & Irish Lions team up for a unique fundraising drive.
South Africa’s Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund were extended a helping hand during these difficult times from UK-based Matt Hampson Foundation who offered to donate a percentage of the funds raised from a UK based online auction that began on 24 July and runs for the duration of the Springboks-Lions Test series.
“This is the first time ever that opposing rugby nations are joining forces to raise money for the same worthy cause,” said Players’ Fund chairman and former Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers. “What makes it even more unique is that our fundraising initiative will take place at exactly the same time as South Africa and the Lions do battle on the field.”
“We’ve been in lockdown for only 16 months. But for those players confined to a wheelchair, they have been living this way since the day they were injured on the field,” said De Villiers, who also represented Matt Hampson’s former English Premiership club, Leicester Tigers.
“South African teams will be playing their rugby in Europe from now on and so from a Fund point of view, it makes sense that north and south join forces off the field for our fallen heroes.”
The online auction went live on 24 July – the day of the first Test – and finishes after the third Test on 7 August. The lots include a 2021 Springbok jersey signed by the entire team; balls signed by the Springbok backs and forwards respectively; and a 2009 British & Irish Lions jersey signed by captain Paul O’Connell and his entire team.
Other lots include Lions signed match-worn shirts, exclusive one-off pieces by sport artist and expressionist Ben Mosley, Paul Oz canvases, limited edition prints by mouth artist Henry Fraser, tickets to dinners and golf days and lots more besides.
Place your bids at www.hambosauction.com!