Award tops 'whirlwind' year with sports charity

MATT STEWART
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013
LIFE LESSONS: Meghan Mutrie calls Right to Play her rudder.
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
LIFE LESSONS: Meghan Mutrie calls Right to Play her rudder.

Relevant offers

Rugby

Nothing between Hurricanes and Highlanders in Friday blockbuster Ben Smith sidesteps All Black accolade to focus on Highlanders Kiwi-born Leroy Houston signs for Reds, picked for Wallabies squad Sacked England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster named on British Cycling panel Speed king McNicholl has "no regrets" about move to Wales Kaleb Talamahina try for Southland Boys' High School an internet hit Plenty of games of consequence in this round of Super Rugby Former Counties loose forward Sean Reidy in Ireland squad to face Boks Blues only hope against Crusaders is to draw on underdog motivation Chiefs out to stay top with big effort in Super Rugby clash against Waratahs

Televsion presenter Meghan Mutrie - who made a miraculous recovery from a rugby-related brain injury - has been awarded Canada's Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work with a global sports charity.

The accolade took the Canadian-born Crowd Goes Wild presenter by surprise: "I was shocked - I didn't even know I was up for it."

Mutrie, 28, who grew up "playing everything", was given the award for her work with Right to Play, a charity that helps poor youths into sport and play to improve their health and develop life skills.

In April she went on a five-day "whirlwind-and-a-half" tour of west African nation Benin as an athlete ambassador for the charity. She said the trip was a watershed. "It made me a better person."

Ten months on, she is still processing the experience.

"These little kids were just having fun, not having any idea they were learning about teamwork, gaining confidence in themselves and trust in others. They were learning the exact same life lessons as an eight-year-old Canadian girl did 20 years ago."

The charity became her "rudder" in 2009 as she battled to recover from brain damage suffered while playing for the Canadian women's rugby team against England in 2008.

After a head-to-head collision with another player in a routine tackle, a brain bleed left her unable to move or speak properly.

Her mother had to fly her back from London to Calgary, where she spent more than a year learning to walk and talk again.

The injury put on hold her studies at Massey University, where she had been completing a journalism diploma.

She returned to New Zealand in 2010. She still suffers bouts of fatigue and insomnia.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content