Stormers and Wales centre Jamie Roberts has volunteered his services as a medical doctor to the National Health Service amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.
Roberts joined the Stormers for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season, but after the tournament was suspended indefinitely and just before South Africa went into lockdown due to Covid-19, the centre caught the last flight out of the country to Wales.
Previously, Roberts was lauded for allowing a front-line doctor to live in his Cardiff flat to help the fight against the global pandemic. But, as a qualified medical doctor himself, Roberts has now also joined the NHS.
He has taken up a temporary role with the Cardiff and Vale health board working as a clinical innovation fellow, tasked with motivational and communications duties.
In an interview with WalesOnline, Robert said: ‘I have spent the last three months living in Cape Town, but rugby out there was postponed indefinitely, so I came back to the UK. I just thought how can I play my part in this challenge we are all facing?
‘I’m sitting on a medical degree from Cardiff University. I graduated in 2013 and did a bit of research between then and now. I thought, do you know what, I would love to help the cause here in Cardiff with the health board that helped me train as a doctor.
‘Although I have never worked clinically, I just thought I could help lend an extra pair of hands, an extra brain into helping solve the challenge. My first few days here have been inspiring, to see how hard people are working and everyone playing their part.
‘I won’t be doing any skilled clinical work. I may be on the wards doing some basic work. My role here is to help motivate staff and help the communications team, making sure we get the right messages across to the public and playing my role within an unbelievable team.
‘I was never aware of exactly what goes on behind the scenes. The energy and enthusiasm is palpable and that’s inspiring during a time like this. So, whatever I can do to help our staff at HQ and in the frontline as well, I am keen to play my part. With a medical background as well, I hope that helps.’
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