Rolling Sport - Quadriplegic rugby coach
Dan Lombard, a C4/5 Quadriplegic, recorded a notable landmark when he became the first quadriplegic rugby coach to attend a BokSmart Safety Course, hosted by the BlueBulls Rugby Union at Loftus Versfeld. He is the second quadriplegic to be successfully BokSmart certified.
In 2008 Lombard was in grade 12 and playing rugby when he was catastrophically injured during a practisesession.
He tackled a player and a ruck ensued. Lombard remained on the ground after the ruck. His coach realized that he was seriously injured and summoned help, suspecting a broken neck. Medics arrived an hour later and Lombard was admitted to the Little Company of Mary hospital where he was diagnosed with C4/5 quadriplegia. After three months in hospital Dan was discharged.
Lombard received a wheelchair from the Chris Burger / Petro Jackson Player Fund. He is studying psychology at the University of Pretoria and coaches rugby at Pretoria Boys High School.
"This is a great initiative from the South African Rugby Union, and my only regret was that I would have loved to have done this BokSmart course before I sustained myinjury," said Lombard.
"I highly recommend that every rugby coach makes the effort to become BokSmart certified. This course gives one further insight into the dangers of how to deal with catastrophic injuries sustained in rugby."
"Hopefully, with the BokSmart programme, we can ensure that few players have to experience what Dan has at such a young age," said BokSmart Project Manager, Wayne Viljoen. "However, it is really good to see that Dan is still actively involved in the game and playing such a positive role. Dan, and all the players catastrophically injured on the rugby fields before him, are the reason why BokSmart has come about, and if everyone involved in the game performs their role properly we can make a meaningful difference in curtailing these kinds of injuries."
Former referee, Clinton Pietersen, became the first quadriplegic to be successfully certified as a BokSmart trainer in November 2009. His quadriplegia was the result of a freak motor vehicle accident in 2004. He attended a regional BokSmart workshop in George hosted by the South Western Districts (SWD).