Thembakazi Trust

The Thembakazi Trust is a non-profit Public benefit organisation (PBO).

The objective of the Thembakazi trust:

The objective of the Thembakazi Trust is to provide financial assistance to young under-privileged sportsmen and sportswomen, who require orthopaedic surgery, and to support and promote research in orthopaedic and sports medicine related fields, which may benefit sportsmen and sportswoman and all matters connected thereto.

The Trustees of the Thembakazi Trust:

  1. Dr Willem vd Mewe
  2. Prof Malcolm Collins
  3. Dr Dion O’Cuinneagain

The Principles of the Thembakazi Trust:

1) Medical cost support:

Facilitates the offering of one free operation per month to talented athletes (Provincial / National level) who would not otherwise be able to afford this service. Learners (over the age of 16 years) from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who have been identified as a potential provincial level athlete.

The service is offered by the combined contribution of a number of service providers operating from the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and through the goodwill of Life Healthcare, South African Breweries and Smith & Nephew.

Operation Thembakazi: The surgical scope of the program presently covers orthopedic sports injuries.  The diagnosis and operation is conducted by Dr Willem van der Merwe, Dr Hayden Hobbs and colleagues through the Sports Science Orthopedic Clinic at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.  Rehabilitation services are offered by Calligeris and Diale Physiotherapy practice up to a maximum of 5 sessions.

In the event where an operation is not required but rehabilitation is recommended as the proposed course of treatment, the cost of such shall be subsidized and not covered in full by Project Thembakazi. This will be communicated to all potential candidates during the course of the selection process.

Selection Criteria

This service is made available to talented athletes who would not have the means to otherwise pay for such an operation, thus ending their sporting career potential.  During the process of consideration the following criteria will be applied as a guideline:

  • The average income of the individual should be less than R4500 per month
  • The average family income if individual is under 21 or living at home is less than R8000 per month
  • The individual is over 16 years of age
  • The application must be accompanied by a letter of motivation from the federation
  • The required medical procedure merits consideration
  • The athlete has been identified as having sporting potential

2) Research Support:

The Thembakazi trust will support and promote research in applied, basic and clinical research within orthopaedic and/or sports medicine related fields, with the objective to benefit sportsmen and sportswomen.

The Thembakazi Trust may, provided it has sufficient funds, support a researcher(s) from the UCT/MRC Research Unit of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town and/or research assistants. It may do so in the following manners:

  • Post-Graduate Student Bursary
    • The Thembakazi trust may support a MSc or PhD student(s) by the means of a partial / complete bursary.
    • This bursary will be named the “Thembakazi Trust Bursary”.
    • The recipient of the bursary will conduct research within orthopaedic and/or sports medicine related fields
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship
    • The Thembakazi trust may support a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship by the means of a partial / complete support.
    • This fellowship will be named the “Thembakazi Trust Fellowship”.
    • The recipient of the fellowship will conduct research within orthopaedic and/or sports medicine related fields
  • Senior Research Officer Salary
    • The Thembakazi trust may support a senior research officer by means of a partial / complete salary.
    • This support will be named the “Thembakazi Trust Fellowship”.
    • The employee will conduct research within orthopaedic and/or sports medicine related fields
  • Research Assistant Salary
    • The Thembakazi trust may employ a research assistant (or nurse) as a full-time or part-time research assistant.
    • The research assistant will assist in all matter related to research supported by the Thembakazi trust within orthopaedic and/or sports medicine related fields.

The Thembakazi Trust will award research support upon discretion of the trustees.

The Thembakazi Trust may support research related costs in the following way:

  • Contract the UCT/MRC Research Unit of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town to conduct research
  • Contribute financially to research related costs through providing research grants to research projects in orthopaedic and sports medicine related fields conducted at the UCT/MRC Research Unit of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

The above mentioned support for research related costs will done so upon discretion of the trustees.

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