A Support Network For Us All
I have had a long and enjoyable career playing hurling for my club and county, and enjoying good success along the way. Whilst I suffered injuries now and again they were minor compared to the catastrophic injuries that the World Sports Team organisation strives to support.
While watching the documentary broadcasted earlier this year on the amazing young man Stuart Mangan, my mind drifted to how would I feel if I could no longer play sports or simply enjoy being able to do whatever I wanted. Would I be as brave in the face of unbelievable obstacles as he was? I’m not sure of the answer but one thing is for certain, catastrophic sports injuries affect not just the injured athlete but indeed a wide circle of family and friends.
Since watching Stuart’s story I have become aware of one hurler living close to me who has suffered a similar injury to Stuart and another former hurler who is now paralysed from the waist down. You only find out how tough you are when you see what these fellows have gone through and are going through. Their bravery has made any victory I had in my playing days look very insignificant. This bravery is why I admire them so much.
Stuart was desperately unlucky to suffer that awful injury while playing rugby but very lucky to have a wonderful family, friends and a sporting network around him for support.
But what about those in far off places that we have never even heard of that have also suffered a life changing injury but have no family or friends to rally around? Well, for me, this is where the World Sports Team has a huge role to play in their future.
The ways of helping are endless but the most important thing to fallen athletes is the fact that they are not forgotten beyond the sports ground.
I mentioned earlier a friend who suffered an injury a number of years ago which resulted in him being paralysed from the waist down. He is an inspiration to all who know him and he has gone on to become one of Ireland’s best paraolympians. It is not easy but it can be done.
We in sport, whatever the code, have a common bond – we strive do our best. I wish the World Sports Team every success in helping fallen sportsmen and women everywhere to achieve the best they can no matter how serious the injury.
I ask all those in sport to support the World Sports Team in their efforts.