WHILE the chance to see former Wallabies stars such as Tim Horan and Jason Little was too good to miss for up to 3000 spectators at the Harper Bernays Rugby Challenge match at Millamolong on Saturday, there was little doubt about the most important moment of the day.
Peter Worsley, who suffered a C4/5 spinal injury playing for Wagga Ag College in 1987, was presented with a new wheelchair at the half-time interval of the match on behalf of the Hearts in Union Rugby Foundation.
Orange's Rocky Mileto, who founded the charity to help fellow rugby players who have suffered spinal injuries, presented the wheelchair to Mr Worsley on a day where upwards of $50,000 was raised for Hearts in Union.
“It's very comforting 21 years down the track that someone like Rocky (Mileto) has the connections and drive ... to get off his backside and start something like Hearts in Union,” said Mr Worsley, who has also represented Australia at the Paralympics.
“Something like this shows what can be done.”
Mr Mileto put the importance of the charity in perspective when he said wheelchairs cost between $18,000 to $35,000 and need to be replaced “at least” every five years.
He said when he first began Hearts in Union he couldn't have imagined the sight in front of him on Saturday.
“I would have been happy to raise enough for one chair a year. We now have four wheelchairs in our sights, including today's,” he said.
“What this means for us ... (is) we have more money in our kitty that we can make things happen for people who will fight with the bureaucracy, red tape and government which don't see it (adequate funding) as a necessity.”