Six Vodacom Bulls players took time out from their intense pre-season training for a surprise visit to the general ward of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital this morning. With hospital staff sworn to secret, the kids had no idea that they would spend two hours with Vodacom Bulls sextet Akona Ndungane, Jacques Potgieter, Dawie Steyn, William Small-Smith, Schalk van Heerden and Ulrich Beyers.
Within a few minutes of the Vodacom Bulls’ arrival, the kids were smiling and had temporarily forgotten about their pain. Beaming with delight as they received early Christmas gifts from Ndungane and his merry quintet, the kids requested photographs and autographs and happily shared their stories with the Pretoria-based players.
The bedside banter was entertaining and inspiring for the young kids who were encouraged to recover speedily and pursue their goals and dreams.
Vodacom Bulls and former Springbok winger Akona Ndungane said the visit was a humbling experience.
“Spending time with the kids at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital was not just a humbling experience but it certainly puts things into perspective as well. We spent two unforgettable hours with truly amazing young kids, who possess courage beyond their years. As much as the Vodacom Bulls serve as an inspiration to youngsters wanting to realise their dreams, these ill children, through their courage and adversity, motivated us too.”
Baby Bok William Small-Smith loved his visit to the children’s ward.
“Although I’m only 20-years old, I’ve been fortunate to achieve my personal and professional goals early on but I know that not everyone in this country is able to do so. Spending time with South African and national rugby stars is a memorable and inspiring moment for impressionable young kids who might be feeling pessimistic about their future. I hope that our visit today makes them feel loved and wanted and gives them the strength and courage needed to get well and take on the world.”