Must Watch: Emotional moment when young rugby player with a "spinal cord injury" walks again!

Emotional moment when a young rugby player who suffered a spinal cord injury… walks again!


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Louis Trichardt, South Africa – An emotional moment has been caught on camera when a young rugby player who suffered a spinal cord injury, left his wheelchair behind to walk again!

Koben Hofmeyr, a 16-year-old from Louis Trichardt, stepped onto the rugby field on the 19 May 2018 as Captain of his team.

He was a popular and respected captain in Hoërskool Louis Trichardt, playing inside centre and identified by those close to him as “always fit and well prepared”. In the second half of the match, Koben lined his opponent up for a tackle as he had done so many times before. On impact, he felt the players hip hit his neck, heard a cracking sound and fell to the ground.

Koben describes the memories he has of the event: He immediately felt pain and pins and needles. Then he realised that he couldn’t stand up. It quickly became apparent that Koben was seriously injured and required urgent medical attention…

Whilst this tragic scenario could be viewed as a nightmare for most, Koben and his family have grown even stronger since this accident. They are thankful for the blessings they have received from God, in awe of the progress that Koben has made and grateful for the wonderful support from Koben’s school, their community and that of the wider rugby and friendship circles. He returned to school only four months after the accident and while welcomed with open arms and the same level of companionship – he still says “Going to school itself has been the greatest challenge by far. Having to adapt to being around the people who knew you as a certain person and the fact that you have changed…”

Koben had to undergo numerous surgeries following his accident and still receives intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy on a regular basis.

Koben reflects on his sessions by saying “it is so difficult when you’re telling your body to do something it always used to do, but it doesn’t respond in the way it should”.

His prognosis for his recovery is continuously improving because of the dedication and focus that he brings to the rehabilitation process, just as he brought it to the game he used to play – and still loves so much.

And 10 months later… Koben has left his bright green wheelchair (named Shrek) behind him.

The Player’s Fund – a non-profit organisation that assists seriously injured rugby players in South Africa – captured the moment and shared it on their social media.

“We couldn’t help sharing this heartwarming video of Koben Hofmeyr from Louis Trichardt who sustained a Spinal Cord Injury in May 2018 on the rugby field.

No bright green wheelchair in sight and the obvious support from all those around him!”

Watch the emotional video below:

We couldn't help sharing this heartwarming video of #KobenHofmeyr from Louis Trichardt who sustained a #spinalcordinjury in May 2018 on the rugby field. No bright green wheelchair (who is named "Shrek") in sight and the obvious support from all those around him! HUGE SHOUT OUT to you @_kobenhofmeyr_ ❤🏉🇿🇦 #smallgains #kliphart #ProjectHero #thisissouthafrica @schalkbrits @hshimmi @chester_williams_11 @johnsmitty1978 @sarugbylegends Springboks @siya_kolisi_the_bear @jessekriel15 Bryan Habana Elma Smit Blue Bulls

Posted by The Players' Fund on Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Players’ Fund received notification of Koben’s injury through the Boksmart reporting process for serious injuries that occur on the rugby field. The Fund’s General Manager, Gail Baerecke, is the serious injury case manager for Boksmart and is notified immediately once such an unfortunate accident takes place.

When Koben ran onto the field in May of 2018, he did so with a team behind him. Now on his road to recovery, a team approach is also being adopted. His immediate support base has been joined by the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund who partners Koben and his family, but also another 107 other rugby players in SA who, due to injury have found themselves in similar positions.

The Fund works together with the injured players’ medical teams and families to understand where they can be supported on the road ahead.

As part of Project Hero, a couple of days in his life was documented to show the immense strength and determination that the teenager has.

“It is a privilege to be part of this project,” Koben has said. “If my story can help and assist others who are also injured, or inspire someone who unfortunately sustains such an injury, then I will be happy that I could help. I still love rugby, I love the game. I am thankful for each opportunity to grow stronger,” he said.

A Thundafund has been set up for the beneficiaries of the Players’ Fund – please visit: to watch Koben’s video and pledge your support to Rugby’s Caring Hands.

Sources: The Players’ Fund | Koben’s Story 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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