It is a sad fact of everyday life that people suffer personal injuries through accidents in their homes, workplace, on our streets and roads and also in the pursuit of leisure activities and sports. In this regard rugby is no different from any other contact sport and unfortunately player injuries occur from time to time. Such injuries can be of a very serious nature, resulting in permanent disability in some cases.
The Irish Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust was formed in 1978 to assist severely injured rugby players in their everyday lives, and help to restore their confidence and independence.
There are currently 33 seriously injured players registered with the Charitable Trust in Ireland, most of whom are wheelchair bound and have some form of permanent paralysis.
The support provided by the Trust takes many forms and includes financial assistance for medical, nursing and caring expenses, home alterations, education and training costs, provision of wheelchairs and specialised equipment together with motor vehicles and vehicle conversion costs. The Trust also maintains regular contact with each injured player and their families.
Over the past few years the average annual cost of financial support provided by the Trust has been approximately €200,000. This is partly funded by direct grants from the IRFU along with various fundraising campaigns and donations. Fundraising events include sponsored walks every two yeas to coincide with Lions tours and the Rugby World Cup, golf tournaments, sports quizzes and gala dinners on the eve of a home Six Nations match along with the Friends of the Charitable Trust scheme.