One-legged rugby player



August 6, 2016
One-legged rugby player

ON THE BALL: Ridhaa Davids, 26, plays rugby with prosthesis. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

From playing sport to driving, Ridhaa won’t let his disability stop him.

He may only have one leg, but this rugby player can scrum with the best of them.

Ridhaa Davids, 26, lost his leg eight years ago, when he was in matric, after it was shattered in a rugby match.

The Goodwood man’s left leg was amputated just below the knee.

But while he’s given up on his dream of being a Springbok, Ridhaa did not let his disability get him down.

Instead, he uses his af-been to inspire mense and show them that nothing is impossible.

Today, Ridhaa is a personal trainer, rugby player and coach, fitness instructor and a qualified massage therapist.

The Hamadias RFC player says: “Believe in yourself and believe that ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary. That keeps me motivated.”

In February 2007, he broke his leg in four places, tore all the ligaments, severed some arteries and even had internal bleeding after a tackle went horribly wrong.

Doctors could not save the leg, and it had to be amputated.

A determined Ridhaa went home in April, but returned to school and completed his Matric year.

Miraculously, just a year later, he ran out on the rugby field again, and even managed to get his driver’s licence.

Ridhaa says his father took him to someone for advice when he had just come out of hospital.

“That man told me I will never ever be able to play rugby again, the game I love, and that I must make my peace,” he says.

“I walked away from there and set out to prove him wrong. It was a fantastic feeling when I ran out onto that field again playing club rugby,” he says proudly.

NEEDS HELP: Ridhaa requires new socket for his prosthesis. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

He was fitted with a prosthetic leg, and explains the socket covering his stump is made of carbon fibre and costs about R40 000. This had been donated by his former employer Ossure, a prosthetic company.

He went on to study Training and Conditioning and focused on personal training and rugby conditioning.

“I think the physical rehabilitation was easier, I still struggle with the emotional stuff sometimes,” he admits.

“I love everything about sport and being healthy and teaching people how to be fit. People think when you lose a limb your life is over.”

When he plays club rugby, he pads up the prosthetic leg, “people don’t even realise it’s plastic”.

But lately he has not been able to play because his stump is shrinking and the socket no longer fits.

“The socket slips off and chafes, causing sores and pain. I need a new socket or I will be forced to remain on crutches,” he says.

“Without a leg, I can’t drive or play rugby.”

The humble young man and his family is now trying to raise funds for a new socket, which costs R40 000.

If you would like to assist Ridhaa, contact his sister Rushana Williams on 072 946 3777.

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