England and British Lions legend and newly elected RFU President John Spencer has pledged his support for injured players and the RFU Injured Players Foundation for the 2017-18 season when setting out the theme for his presidency.
When discussing his decision to support the RFU Injured Players Foundation, Spencer said:
"Each RFU President has the privilege of choosing a theme for their presidential year and for me it was not difficult to settle on the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
There is something very special about rugby union, especially the camaraderie and friendship. We often talk about “the rugby family” and that is nowhere better illustrated than in the work of and the support for the IPF.
I wanted my theme to focus on the way that the rugby family is there in the event of that rare but real situation of catastrophic injury. I believe that we are the only sport in England offering this degree of support to any player, whether in the grassroots or the elite level of the game.
What impresses me most is that as soon as the IPF is alerted to a potential catastrophic injury they are there to support player and family through the early days, taking away the extra stress of travel and accommodation and providing a real shoulder to lean on.
Beyond those traumatic early days they are ever present with specialist advice, grant support and many ways to build confidence and self-belief. The IPF aims to ensure catastrophically injured players can live the most fulfilled lives possible.
I know that with the IPF’s help injured players have returned to work, gone to university, retrained, taken up sport or outdoor activities, been able to be at the centre of their family thanks to redesigned homes, gardens and help with specialist vehicles.
So often a family member talks about the difference the IPF has made and most importantly the reassurance which comes from knowing that the charity is always there for them.
And they are truly there for our rugby family members who need them most. That, I believe, is the test of how much we care as a sport.
The kind of research that the IPF is involved with is another reason I chose them because if we can study and understand how serious injuries occur that research will help to minimise them.
I am proud to choose the IPF as my presidential theme because as a past player, a loyal club member and someone passionate about our game, knowing that the IPF will always be there when needed makes a tremendous difference as they continue to make such a difference to inured players’ lives."
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