The country-wide lockdown period, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a tough period for most, including Isuzu Southern Kings winger Christian Ambadiang who had to continue working hard towards a full recovery following an injury sustained in the pre-season period which ruled him out of action for the entire Guinness PRO14 2019/20 season.
The 21-year-old burly rugby player was touched by some of the conditions and challenges the less privileged in his community faced during this period, he took it upon himself to offer a helping hand where he can.
At least once a month since the start of lockdown in late March, Ambadiang, with the assistance of some family members and friends, selflessly dug into their own pockets to put together some food parcels which they distributed to families in need in the Paarl area of the Western Cape.
“My drive during this lockdown has not just been to focus on recovering from my long term injury, but to take some time to look at my surroundings and the impact the lockdown is having in the community around me, and that steered me to try and help where I can in this community,” Ambadiang said.
“I am a person that is always willing to help, largely as a result of knowing how it is to live in poor conditions, not being able to afford some basic needs and how frustrating it is for some parents to put bread on the table for their kids.
“So, by helping out, it brings me so much joy knowing that those families will sleep with full stomachs and wake up the next day not worrying about what will be on their table.”
The winger has also received the support of his Isuzu Southern Kings teammates on the good work he has been doing for his community.
Ambadiang further encouraged other sportspeople and fans to also lend a helping hand in their own communities in order to make even the smallest of differences.
“My teammates adore what I am doing and if they are willing to help out in this drive with whatever they can, they are more than welcome to. As long as I have their backing, I’m happy.
“I do not that every single sportsperson really knows what is going on in these different communities unless they really go out there and see what it is like, and that is something I encourage, so that they can see how much help is needed and then they can help wherever they can.
“Every little bit of help counts and makes a huge difference in the lives of those in need. We, as a community and a country, need to lift each other in times like these.”
Over and above the community project, Ambadiang has been focusing mainly on his recovery and is itching to get back onto the playing field again to make a contribution to the success of the Isuzu Southern Kings.
“I must say of all things that have keeping me busy, recovering from my knee injury has been the main priority,” he said
“Staying in shape during this period for whenever we resume with rugby again is important. Then there is also my schoolwork. I have also had lighter moments of clowning around with family and friends, but I try to stay as busy as I can so that I don’t have to go crazy.
“But, in terms of my injury from where I stand now compared to three or four months ago, I must say I am impressed on the progress I have made and the continuous work I have been putting in. I am just patiently waiting to get down and dirty with my teammates on the rugby field again.”