Barefoot bowlers aid charity

2011-11-25 10:44

Chris Bjornstad

Cape Town - The Mowbray Bowling Club once again played host to a bowls tournament and auction to raise awareness and funds for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players' Fund.

Over 100 people comprising 25 teams of bowlers, many sporting colourful fancy dress, came out on a scorching spring afternoon.

This fun-filled event, organised by the Players4Players Foundation, raised an impressive R45 000 and presented the Fund’s Ali Williams with a cheque. This exceeded last year’s contribution of R31 000.

Most of last year’s donation helped Aubry Saal, a young man from Springbok who was catastrophically injured in a rugby match, purchase a wheelchair and make his home quadriplegic-friendly.

Players4Players spokesperson and tournament organiser, Gareth Rosslee, believes the Fund is a worthy recipient of the money raised.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to know how your contributions will be spent by a particular charitable organisation. With the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, we know the money we help raise will be spent directly on those who need it.”

Another organiser, Mark Kritzinger, had hoped to raise R50 000 by the end of the day, but was far from disappointed with the tally.

“Sure we would have liked to reach the R50 000 mark. But we’re delighted with the sum. I’ve also been informed by Ms Williams that this donation is the single largest made by an associated organisation in 2011. That’s something we’re very proud of.

There’s still an open bid on a 2011 Rugby World Cup Springbok jersey signed by the entire squad, so we may reach or surpass the initial target after all!”

Former Western Province prop Tank Lanning and Rosslee were the auctioneers, boisterously urging those in attendance to dig deeply into their pockets. A number of items were hotly contested and made for some exciting bids.

“At one point during the auction, we had a guy bidding over the phone from his home in Mozambique for a 2010 Currie Cup Sharks jersey signed by the team, so word about the annual auction is getting out,” Kritzinger explained.

“There were a number of signed jerseys donated by Western Province, the Sharks, the Blitzbokke, as well as a limited edition Blood Brothers framed photo of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha. And much, much more. The auction raised R32 000.”

Rosslee made a point of acknowledging those who made the barefoot bowls tournament such a resounding success.

“We’d like to thank our sponsors - Brandhouse, Canterbury, Adidas, The Players Fund, Wayne Smith, and KegKing - for their generous donations for the auction and overall support. Also a big thanks to Red Bull for supplying thirsty bowlers with their products on a very hot day.

For the second year, Tommy and the team from the Mowbray Bowling Club allowed us to use the facility free of charge and provided us with much needed volunteers, so many thanks to them.”

Kritzinger, Rosslee and the Players4Players Foundation plan to go even bigger next year.

“I have no doubt that we’ll go from strength to strength. In 2011 we will up our target to R70 000,” said Rosslee.

The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund assists the unfortunate victims of catastrophic or serious rugby injuries; and develops and implements initiatives that aim to educate, inform and create awareness around rugby injuries.

For more information on the Players’ Fund and how to donate, visit the website at