These pillars hold up the 155,000 registered rugby players in New Zealand that safely play our most loved sport. Like any recreational pursuit, there are an unlucky few who are seriously injured playing rugby. The Foundation is there from the moment a child, amateur or professional player steps out onto the pitch to if the unimaginable happens and they suffer a serious injury during play.
"The foundation is there to make sure despite a rugby injury, which is pretty damn sad, that we have the potential to live our life. If the foundation is able to assist, they are in boots and all.”
– Grant Sharman, a seriously injured player supported by New Zealand Rugby Foundation, injured in 1977
We are experts in our field and have since the inception of the Foundation, supported 114 seriously injured players, for the duration of their life. Our experience shows that each seriously injured player and the whānau that supports them is completely different, so we tailor what we provide and recognise that each person will need to access a range of resources, across their lifetimes.More than 140,000 registered rugby players of all ages and ethnicities safely play our national game every winter.
We are the safety net for the unfortunate few who are seriously injured, providing immediate guidance, vital funding and a unified social network. We connect seriously injured players and their families with key services, short and long-term, to have a positive impact not only on the individual, but their whānau and wider community as well.
The type of support we provide includes legal assistance with trusts, deeds & wills, personal counselling, education, sports and arts, home and garden maintenance, business start-up assistance, technology and group activities.
We also provide expert advice regarding accessibility and modifications that may be required in response to SCI (spinal cord injury).
In a nutshell, we share the journey with our seriously injured team mates as their permanent support organisation to tailor support and resources that enhance and better their lives as much as possible.
"They have given me lots of help, lots of assistance. Without them, it would have been a far greater struggle. They care about you and what your family has got to go through.”
– Ben Larson, a seriously injured player supported by New Zealand Rugby Foundation since 1999
The Foundation isn’t just the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. We support leading-edge research into injury prevention and also promote for safe play for all New Zealand rugby players. We champion safety in the game we love, so when a player even steps on to a pitch, we know that they will be playing and refereed in a way that ensures safety and is backed by peer reviewed and published research.
We also partner with education institutions on ground-breaking research to enable better concussion management and work closely with our partners New Zealand Rugby and ACC, to encourage fewer rugby injuries through prevention and outward education.
We act as champions on behalf of seriously injured players to ensure they receive quality levels of care and that policies and systems are in place to achieve the best outcomes for them and their families.
We act on behalf of the rugby community to identify and advocate areas for change in policy at the highest levels of government and collaborate with key entities to ensure appropriate care is provided and the rights of injured players are recognised.
The financial repercussions of catastrophic injury are far-reaching. Earning power is diminished, if not demolished altogether.
The Rugby Foundation only covers costs that ACC cannot.
In 1987, The Foundation received a generous one million dollar donation from Goodman Fielder Watties on the provisio that the grant would never be deleted. New Zealand Rugby (then NZRFU) donated a further one million dollars in 2000, again with the caveat that only the interest would be drawn upon.
Today we operate a strong strategic directive to future-proof The Foundation by continuing to grow the capital fund and operate only off it's investment interest and dividends. We are responsible stewards of our capital fund and with advice from JB Were manage those finances diligently and with sustainably. Year end 2021 fund value was $6.2m.
New Zealand Rugby provides us an annual grant to assist with operational costs, and we rely on community and gaming funding, event fundraising, and supporter donations to provide support for injured player needs and project delivery.
In 2022, we launched an exciting fundraising platform named The Pettigrew Giving Circle aimed at increasing impact through collaborative donorgiving.
We appreciate every dollar gifted to the Foundation and, as a lean operation, strive to make that money count.We are proud of our strategic approach to carefully growing the Foundation’s investments.
AT NZ RUGBY FOUNDATION WE CARE, ADVOCATE FOR AND CHAMPION THE SAFETY OF ALL PLAYERS IN THE GAME WE LOVE