Former Bok opens up about the realities of adjusting to life after stardom

Earlier this year the death of former Australian rugby player, 37-year-old South African-born Dan Vickerman, shocked the rugby community. It was found Vickerman suffered from depression.

He had been struggling to revert back to ordinary civilian life after a career in the spotlight.

A helpline was launched over this past weekend for the rugby fraternity and staffed by mental health professionals.

One of the groups involved is the South African Rugby Legends Association and CEO and former Springbok Stefan Terblanche speaks to John Maytham about the journey of life post sports stardom.

He says his own transition was both positive and negative.

I was fortunate to end my career on my terms and I was fortunate to play for a very long time without injury. But even with that, going straight into work and a job, there were still difficulties at times to 'normal life'.

Stefan Terblanche, Sarla CEO and former Springbok

He says the life of a professional sports player is very regimented and everything is structured for you. Then to transition to the 'civilian' world and find a way to earn a living is challenging.

He agrees that there should be time spent educating players on how to cope with life after their full-time sports careers end.

Life after rugby is a whole lot longer than life in rugby.

Stefan Terblanche, Sarla CEO and former Springbok

Take a listen:

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