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Thread: Wallabies star David Pocock makes difference off field through charity work in Zimbab

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    Wallabies star David Pocock makes difference off field through charity work in Zimbab

    Wallabies star David Pocock makes difference off field through charity work in Zimbabwe










    DETERMINED: Wallaby David Pocock (above and main) is as relentless with his charity as his rugby. Picture: Cameron Spencer Source: Getty Images





    DAVID Pocock is one of world rugby's most recognised new faces yet the battling families he is helping in Zimbabwe don't even know his name.



    The standout flanker has no lust for personal profile from this work in the rural black villages outside Nkayi in his former homeland because it is a project from the heart.
    Anyone who marvels at his fervour to wrestle for the ball when the All Blacks are targeting him for one body jolt after another in Sydney on Saturday night, will understand he has passion for a cause.


    Through his eightytwentyvision.org charity, Pocock channels a cut of his rugby earnings and donations into a community project to improve maternal health, child nutrition, farming, and care for HIV sufferers.


    Just days after his five-star hotel lifestyle ended on last year's Wallaby tour of Europe, Pocock was throwing down a swag on bare, termite-infested earth to sleep under the stars in one of the farming villages.


    The Pococks were evicted from their farm almost a decade ago during the bloody days of the Mugabe regime which is how the muscular forward ended up building a new life in Australia.


    "It's pretty dire in Zimbabwe and I've always wanted to make a difference," Pocock, 22, said.


    "When you stay in a rural area in Zimbabwe, you see the reality of how much people are battling in their way of life."


    On the recent tour of South Africa, escapist fiction was not for him during down time. Pocock had his head buried intently in Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu's new book, Made For Goodness, and its message of changing attitudes and practising forgiveness.


    It's why, post-rugby, he is likely to return to live some time in Zimbabwe and is considering the aid area as a career.


    "I visited hospitals and met elders from the villages to start building a bit of a relationship," Pocock said of his visit to the villages.


    "There are demonstration farming plots in the villages where the local farmers are invited to see the benefits of non-traditional methods.


    "Seed is planted over a much smaller area so a mother, with AIDS, and her kids can do that whereas getting behind a plough and oxen is unrealistic for them.


    "You get to understood what a difference a daily bowl of corn soybean porridge can make to nutrition and learning amongst 4000 kids."


    Pocock laughed that he and charity partner Luke O'Keefe didn't survive under the stars too long.


    "The first few nights we stayed in our swags but we just got infested by termites. It rained as well so we ended up sleeping in a traditional hut," Pocock said.


    Pocock is a driven man. GPS tracking has recorded him running nearly 9km in a Test match which is some measure of the incredible staying power to make a difference on the field in every Test he plays.


    http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/...-1225916711992

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    iiNet raised over $300 between the staff in their Perth Callcentre a few weeks ago for Eightytwentyvision.. glad to see its going to such a good cause...

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    Worth a boost

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