The Vodacom Tries for Smiles campaign hopes to assist the Smile Foundation to give more children who suffer from cleft palate and facial deformities the opportunity to better their lives through reconstructive surgery.
The campaign will do this by donating money to the foundation based on the Stormers' performance on Saturday. To motivate the team and surprise the children, members of the team visited Tygerberg Hospital on Wednesday to get to know the brave faces behind the cause.
The children expressed their excitement as the Stormers entered their ward and sat down on their beds to chat to them.
Jordan Schroeder, 5, climbed into his hero Ramone Samuel’s arms and spoke about his love for sport, before bringing out his colouring book to play. Nikita Moses held her emoji pillow tightly and pointed to Stormers back-line star Dillyn Leyds, who she had seen on TV.
“I feel blessed to be here, sometimes we take things for granted, but to see these kids and see how much they appreciate that they can breath, walk and run, its special. I see the joy it brings to their families. I have enough motivation to score tries now. It’s a wonderful initiative of Smile, we want to score more tries now, so it will be good motivation,” said No 8 Nizaam Carr.
Smile chief executive Hedley Lewis said the organisation was thrilled that Vodacom and the Stormers had united to change the lives of children who suffered many difficulties due to deformities.
“You guys coming here today and sharing some of the journey of some of the patients is saying you’re supporting the likes of the health professionals and want to be side by side with parents who walk long journeys,” said Lewis.
Stormers captain Siya Kolisi said that as sportsmen, his team could be the trailblazers in enabling a better world for future generations.