A WHEELCHAIR user has been given a huge lift by a pair of rugby charities who came together to fund a brand new car.
Dugald McArthur, a former Broughton Rugby Club player, sustained a serious neck injury while playing in 1996, and has been supported by both the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation and Hearts+Balls for a number of years.
The 49-year-old, who stays in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh and hails originally from Orkney, said: “The support of the rugby community since my injury has been absolutely tremendous.
“Both Hearts+Balls and the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation play an absolutely vital role in ensuring that life after a serious injury is both active and fulfilling.
“This car will make day-to-day tasks, and travelling to Broughton’s matches home and away, more manageable. It also makes it a lot easier for me to get home to Orkney to see family and friends there.”
The car has been specifically modified for Dugald’s access. Together, the charities contributed a combined £36,000.
Scotland prop Simon Berghan was joined by Hearts+Balls board member Al Kellock and MIPF ambassador, Scotland stand-off Finn Russell to hand over the keys to the brand-new car at Oriam, Scotland’s sports performance centre.
Hearts+Balls and the MIPF both offer assistance to players injured or suffering a disability as a result of playing rugby. Both charities are supported by Scottish Rugby.
The Hearts+Balls chairman, Kenny Hamilton, said: “This is a great example of what our charity does. Where an injured player needs support, we’re there to do whatever we can to make his or her life that little bit easier.I’m sure the fully-adapted car will make a huge difference to Dug’s life – mobility is a right and I am proud that Hearts+Balls has been able to help.
“We couldn’t do this without the help of our supporters.”
In 2009, Dugald recalled the injury, saying: “I wasn’t a natural scrum half,” says Dugald. “It’s a position I’d always quite fancied but my delivery was never that strong.
“The game started getting quite competitive, and during one scrum their scrum half picked up the ball and I ran round the side to tackle him. The next thing I remember I was lying on the ground looking at the sky.”
Ian Rankin, chair of MIPF, added: “A serious injury can cause a great deal of financial hardship. Together with Hearts+Balls, we work to identify where we can help most and do whatever we can to support a member of the rugby family”