Phillip Spring

I had my injury in 1979 at which time I was playing in six divisions of rugby. As a result of the injury I became a severe tetraplegic.

My involvement in rugby has only been as an armchair critic other than being at a few All Black functions and interviewed on TV One talking with Collin Meads. As injury prevention consultant with ACC I spent three years talking to rugby clubs about Rugby Smart and grading their games against to their adherence to Rugby Smart. I was also involved as part of the group in 1996, that went to Wellington to speak to Cez Blasey (former NZRU Chairman) and committee members about changes to the scrum laws and setting up a Trust for injured players.

I have also been fortunate enough to have had articles go to print regarding rugby and the necessary changes to promote safety aspects.

The Rugby Foundation has helped me immensely with continuing my passion for wheelchair rugby as it is an expensive sport to participate in. They have paid for a number of rugby chairs for me and without their assistance I would not be doing what I am today. Wheelchair rugby has opened up a new world for me including attendance at the Rotary World Conference during my year as President of our local club. The conference would have to have been the most inspiring and motivational experience of my life.

I list the following significant sporting achievements:

  • 2007 NZ Wanganui Masters (Gold medalist 9 Ball)
  • 2005 NZ Wanganui Masters (silver medalist 9 Ball, last 16 Indoor Bowls.
  • I am currently playing wheelchair rugby and have represented N.Z in Australia, Canada, USA and Germany.
  • Represented N.Z. in Rugby at the 2003 World Wheelchair Games
  • 2003 NZ Wanganui Masters medalist (3 Medals, 2 Bronze and 1 Silver in Pool and 9 Ball.).
  • In 2002 I became a carded athlete with the Academy of Sport as part of our National Wheelchair Rugby Team known as the ‘Wheelblacks’
  • Indoor Bowls Rep for Rangitikei (1985-2000)