Jared suffered a horrific spinal injury after diving into a lake at Kenton-on- Sea. This athletic young man became a C 6 & 7 quadriplegic. An injury with such an extent would leave most people in a state of despair and depression, but not this young man.
Jared never gave up on his dreams. He was even more determined to live life to its fullest extent. His bio speaks for itself.
After my accident, I was introduced to wheelchair rugby in 2010 and immediately fell in love with the sport. Not only was it the adrenaline rush of the speed of the rugby chairs as well as bumping into opponents that caught my attention, but also the people involved in the sport. I immediately saw that they had a different outlook on life. Even though there was no wheelchair rugby club in Bloemfontein, I wanted to introduce others to this life changing sport so I started contacting people and shortly afterwards we decided to start a club.
My gymnastics background has played a big role in my physical ability after my accident, in my training program as well as my performance in wheelchair rugby. It taught me dedication and to take responsible in setting personal goals.
I still do everything that I used to, I just do things differently. Life does not end after an accident or a challenge that comes across your path, you have to adapt and decide to live life to the full – each day you have a choice to either give up or get up. There are still so many great things out there to enjoy, you just have to see them. I could have drowned when I had my accident, but I am still alive to live out God’s plan for my life, tell my story and encourage others. I enjoy spending time with people who are faced with challenges, it reminds how fortunate I am and to be grateful for what I have. My motto ”Focus on the silver lining”.
I regularly do motivational talks at schools, go encourage patients in hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals after an accident. I address students each year in the medical faculty at the University of the Free State to show them the importance of sport for persons with disabilities is as well as what is possible after an accident.
Wheelchair rugby, a Paralympic sport since 2000 in Sydney, is the only full contact wheelchair sport and the world’s fastest growing wheelchair sport where men and women compete in the same team.
The Mustangs have been one of the top three teams in SA since 2013 and have won the 2016 and 2017 SA Wheelchair Rugby National League. The Free State Wheelchair Rugby Team consists of Mustangs athletes