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Rugby wheelchair innovator's business flourishes, changes lives

Written by: Elizabeth Kgabane

The Department of Trade and Industry illuminated the awareness of intellectual property with the celebration of World Intellectual Property Day in Free State.

The event introduced rugby wheelchair innovator Jared Mcintyre, who is thriving in business after discovering an idea to manufacture cost-effective rugby wheelchairs that will propel sports in South Africa.

Mcintyre suffered a spinal injury after diving into a lake while he was studying for a Business Management qualification at the Central University of Technology (CUT).

Speaking at the World Intellectual Property Day celebration, Mcintyre said after his injury he came up with an idea to manufacture cost-effective rugby wheelchairs.

Mcintyre says through his journey with the wheelchair rugby club and frustration of cost of equipment he was motivated to look for solutions that will benefit future disabled participants in the sport.

I approached the CUT to manufacture these rugby wheelchairs at an affordable price that can be made accessible to anyone who had an interest in the sport. We then trained two guys who were able to increase the volume and then commercialise and adapted our manufacturing process to suit children with disabilities and adults who previously had limited participation in the sport.

Jared Mcintyre, Rugby wheelchair innovator

Mcintyre added that he is in the process of registering the intellectual property for the rugby wheelchair manufacturing process.

Out of frustration, I found a solution that ended up benefiting a lot of people and there are so many ideas out there that people think are so small and insignificant but actually, something like a small idea might be able to change a community or might be able to change someone’s life. I will encourage people not to think of their ideas as insignificant or small but that they should pursue their dream and vision.

Jared Mcintyre, Rugby wheelchair innovator

Senior manager for copyrights at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Kadi Petje said the World Intellectual Property Day celebration was successful this year in pursuing government mandate of educating the public about intellectual property rights and systems.

The school learners also tasted intellectual property flavour from a variety of partners which gave them value for their participation. There was also a reflection on intellectual property and its socio-economic importance in our daily lives and also the introductory provision responding to technological evolution so that our laws remain relevant to digital platforms.

Kadi Petje, Senior manager for copyrights - Companies and Intellectual Property Commission

The event drew the public, youth, academics, small businesses, legal fraternity and government departments involved in the field of intellectual property.

This article is composed of extacts from the Department of Trade and Industry media release.




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