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Bouch’s Rhino project makes the perfect start

Four months after his career was abrubtly ended by a horrifying eye injury, Mark Boucher has admitted that, "The first six hours after the accident were the hardest six hours of the entire experience."

Speaking at the launch of his SAB Boucher Rhino Conservation Project in Johannesburg earlier this week, Boucher was forthright when he spoke of facing the prospect of losing the eye entirely.

Clearly, the legendary Proteas ‘keeper was at a crossroads – and a pretty bleak one at that.

From that low-point, through all the treatments, pain and uncertainty, ‘Bouch’ was forced to call, once again, on those extraordinary depths of willpower and plain old-fashioned grit.

Speaking as passionately on conservation as he does on cricket, Boucher’s story is a compelling one that demands attention.

And it is one that is growing more positive every day.

With the Fund now sitting on over R250 000 thanks to a recent pledge of R200 000 from Old Mutual alone, it’s obvious that Boucher has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

According to his manager and business advisor, Donne Commins, the Non-Profit Company (NPC) is just waiting on clearance from SARS before launching both the SMS and online donation arms of the project.

Mark himself will be hosting a tribute dinner and a breakfast next year, as well as completing his book, of which a portion of sales will boost the NPC’s coffers towards that first-year goal of R1 million.

Added to the schedule are the usual speaking attendances, the Old Mutual Q and A’s with HD Ackerman and various upcoming golf events.

Boucher will next be addressing the Charles Glass Society in Cape Town on Thursday November 8, where according to Andre Fourie from SAB Miller, “We expect about 200 beer-lovers at the event, focused on raising money for charitable causes.”

He added: “SAB World of Beer recently raised R42 000 at a golf day for the SAB Boucher Conservation cause.”

With South Africa’s rhino being decimated at the rate of nearly two per day, the need for this frenetic schedule is glaringly obvious. Vital rhino DNA profiling, the direct benefactor of the SAB Boucher Conservation NPC, is the first and most important tool in the fight against the poaching scourge, and with Mark Boucher firmly in the corner; it’s a fight that’s looking distinctly more positive – day by day.

As for the troublesome eye, progress is steady and sure. Commins added: “Doctors are pleased with the progress, and we’re hoping for 50% restoration of vision when he has his lens inserted next year.”

Donations to the SAB Boucher Conservation Project can be made to:

SAB Boucher
Standard Bank
Current Account 273377671
Branch Code 01464500

Twitter: @RhinosInHand or @SABreweries
email: robyn.chalmers@za.sabmiller.com

By Jason Pearce

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