About Hearts & Balls

Hearts & Balls was conceived in 1999 when a player from the Lismore Rugby Club in Edinburgh suffered a serious spinal injury that left him paralysed.

Having run a highly successful appeal, Lismore decided to widen its support to cover other players impacted by serious injury or illness. Thus, Hearts & Balls came into being with the aim of ‘helping rugby help its own’.

Since its beginnings in 1999, Hearts & Balls has donated in the region of £450,000 to rugby players and their families. Through advice and advocacy, it also helps them identify and apply for funds from other sources.

The kind of support Hearts & Balls is able to offer includes:

  • new wheelchairs for players with spinal injuries
  • specialist mattresses for players with spinal injuries
  • adapting the home and garden of a spinally-injured player
  • car insurance for a specialist vehicle for a spinally-injured player
  • an additional carer to accompany a spinally-injured player on holiday
  • mortgage interest payments for the wife and young children of a player who died from a heart problem when playing rugby
  • specialist IT equipment for a spinally-injured player returning to study
  • legal costs of setting up a trust for an injured player.

We also work with national and international bodies and charities to help provide specialist vehicles and other equipment.

Our next goal is to develop plans and actions to help players with spinal or other catastrophic injuries pursue educational and personal development goals and to achieve gainful and fulfilling employment. We will do this in conjunction with other partners.

Apart from specially-targeted marketing assistance for events, no salaries are taken from Hearts & Balls’ funds. All directors give their time and expertise on a voluntary basis.