Basingstoke RFC Academy player Kurtis Eagle is recovering after taking part in the Great South Run last weekend.
The 16-year-old took part in the 10mile race to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which came to his aid when he suffered a serious injury playing rugby earlier this year.
Promising youngster Eagle was playing for the under-16 team at New Milton when he suffered a dislocated elbow in attempting to hand an opposition player off. The problem was compounded in the resulting ruck, when another player’s knee landed on his upper arm, resulting in a broken humerus.
It was immediately obvious that he required urgent medical attention and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was called, flying Eagle to Southampton General Hospital, where his arm and elbow were realigned.
Thankfully, Eagle has been able to make a full recovery and he has even returned to action for the club’s Academy team this season.
To show his gratitude to the air ambulance, Eagle decided to take part in the Great South Run to raise money for the charity.
“What would have been a 45 minute journey in an ambulance took just nine minutes in the helicopter, allowing the doctors to realign my arm sooner and get the blood flowing back to my hand,” he said. “That not only reduced my pain level but these crucial minutes also increased the speed of my recovery.
“My condition was not life-threatening but these amazing people do help to save many lives. It’s one of those charities that does not help just one set of people. It helps people all over the county and is a charity that the Basingstoke RFC is already heavily involved in through the annual Sparstoke Cup game.”
Basingstoke College of Technology student Eagle travelled to Portsmouth to take part in the Great South Run last Sunday, completing the course in 1hr 32min 33sec.
“As far as running 10 miles goes, it was all right,” he said. “It was tough towards the end but it was a good atmosphere and that helped me through.
“It was the first time I had run 10 miles and it was really tough from the seven or eight mile point. Thinking of the people who had sponsored me and the charity helped me push through to the end though.”
Eagle's efforts have seen him raise just under £500 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com/k-eagle