Why top ref’s happy to help

Written by on 15th November 2012. Posted in News

International rugby referee Nigel Owens has become the latest big name to back a Swansea-based charity.

SWEP Friday, 26th october 2012

He joins a list of celebrities supporting TREAT Trust Wales, which aims to build an £18 million rehabilitation centre in the grounds of Morriston Hospital.

TREAT founder Melanie Davies, who lives near Pontardawe with husband Mike, said: "I'm an enormous fan of Nigel's. I'm a rugby nut and he's my favourite referee. I had wanted to approach him for a while. Unfortunately I didn't know how. In the end I managed to get his number. Mike phoned him, explained what we were trying to achieve, and Nigel said he would like to meet us.

"We had that meeting and Nigel said he would be honoured to be a patron. He's really lovely and we're thrilled to have him on board. He's a sports star with a difference. When he travels internationally he will be able to spread the word about TREAT from the sports injury side of things and also from a human perspective."

Melanie, who broke her back in a motorcycle accident at the age of 15 and recounted her remarkable story in her autobiography, Never Say Die, said: "I'm reading Nigel's book, Half Time, and it's really inspirational. It's in a similar vein to Never Say Die, in that it;s about people getting over things and making a success of their lives."

Nigel, who famously came out as gay in 2007, joins the likes of Michael Sheen, Paul Potts, Rob Brydon and Kev Johns as a a TREAT supporter.

"I always try to help out with good causes," he said. "With TREAT, the issues aren't as commonly known as a lot of the others and it's something local as well."

He said he had witnessed a lost of injuries, minor and otherwise.

"Some people ave to learn how to walk again, or will not be able to walk again," he said. "It must be really difficult for them and it;s important they have somewhere to go and feel part of it all."

SOURCE: South Wales Evening Post, Friday, October 26th, 2012. www.thisissouthwales.co.uk

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