Rugby With Altitude Aims To Break Records on Mt Everest

STORY BY Patrick 15th April 2019

Rugby charity Wooden Spoon is taking on its toughest challenge yet – tackling Mount Everest where the team will attempt to break two Guinness World Records.

The target is to play the highest game of full contact rugby and the highest game of touch rugby in history, whilst raising a minimum of £200,000.

The money raised will help fund projects that support children and young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland.

Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby.  We fund life-changing projects across the UK and Ireland to support children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage.

26 challengers are taking part in the trip.  Five women and the remainder male.  We have people from all walks of life, with one common goal to break two world records whilst raising as much money as possible for the children’s charity of rugby.

The party will leave on 13 April 2019 and fly in to Chengdu on 14 April with the aim to play the first match on 30 April.

The Everest team captains are Fifteens and IRB Sevens Player of the Year (2009) and Artic Challenger, Ollie Phillips; RPA Player of the Year and one of only three women who had made more than 100 appearances for her country, Tamara Taylor; Leading Welsh try scorer and second highest ever British & Irish Lions try scorer, Shane Williams and Former British and Irish Lion and Bath legend, Lee Mears.

In order to satisfy World Record guidelines the team has to adhere to standard rules governing standard variations of the game.  Both the highest altitude game of full contact sevens rugby and the highest altitude game of touch rugby will be played at around 6,500m.

The current record for the highest altitude rugby match was a rugby league match that took place at 5,752 and was achieved by The Steve Prescott Foundation (UK), at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, on 18 October 2015.

After arriving in Chengdu the team will then head out to Lhasa in Tibet. Following a drive from Lhasa to the Everest base camp the challenge teams will then make the challenging trek up to the Tibetan Advanced Base Camp where a game of rugby will be played.   It is a 24 day trip.

The new attempt follows up the charity’s project In 2015 when they took a squad of 11 supporters to the North Pole to take part in the Arctic Rugby Challenge, setting a Guinness World Record for playing the most northern ever game of rugby in history, and raising £240,000 in the process.

The team is sponsored by LMAX Exchange, a global, high-growth financial technology company.

 “Rugby is a game of integrity and teamwork. This spirit drives both Wooden Spoon and LMAX Exchange in what we do. We are proud to support Wooden Spoon and all our staff will be cheering the players on, as they work to set world-records and fund life-changing projects for children and young people,” said David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Exchange.

The LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge is being delivered by Adventure Peaks who offer unrivalled experience of leading expeditions on the Tibetan side of Everest.

For the last 18 years British based (Ambleside) Adventure Peaks have been delivering an extensive worldwide programme and are experts in Tibet having successfully delivered 16 Everest North Ridge summit, 13 North Col and Lhakpa Ri and numerous Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp expeditions. Challengers will be supported by an experienced expedition leader, an assistant leader, doctor and a Nepalese sherpa support team.

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