STARTED by the Selborne College U16A rugby coach Jono Kruger, the Tries for Lives initiative has raised R15000 for the King’s Children’s Home and hopes to bump that up to R20000 by the end of the season.
Tries for Lives uses sport, specifically rugby, as the driving force to do good in the community. The players are required to recruit sponsors for the season. The sponsors are asked to pledge a certain amount for every try the team scores throughout the season.
“Every week we communicate the tries scored and the money comes in. People would pledge from R10 to R300 for every try scored,” Kruger explained.
After becoming aware of the King’s Children’s Home, Kruger took the Selborne U16A team to visit the orphanage and asked if his team would be willing to play rugby to raise funds for the children instead of just playing for themselves.
“These young men were overwhelmingly moved and motivated. They are a talented bunch of players and are well accustomed to winning, but I wanted to give the boys a new experience, so we decided to play for significance instead of success,” said Kruger.
The Kings Children’s Home fosters up to 40 abandoned babies and young children at any given time, most of them coming from horrific situations. Without any government funding, the King family continue to feed, clothe, house and love these children.
The team chose a young boy named Ben as their mascot. Ben King was the first baby brought to the King’s Children’s Home after being found abandoned in a field. Ben soon became the King’s first adopted son.
Ben runs out onto the field with the team before every game, his dream is to one day play for Selborne College.
“The feeling of playing for something greater than ourselves, greater than the team, is surreal. This cause has humbled all of us and ultimately made us better people.
“Seeing the smile on Ben’s face as he ran out with us on to the field, made the journey so worthwhile. Such moments are priceless in life,” said Selborne College U16A rugby player Mtungwa Mapantsela.
Teammate Daimon O’ Connell said: “It has been an eye-opening and amazing experience. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time interacting with the kids, especially Ben.”
The U16A Selborne rugby team will hand over the funds to the King’s Children’s home next Monday and hope to keep the initiative running and push to reach their R20000 mark for the home.