The Wooden Spoon LMax Everest Rugby ChallengeBy Matt Mitchell
Wooden Spoon is taking on its toughest challenge yet in April 2019; tackling Mount Everest where we will attempt to break TWO Guinness World Records:
- The highest altitude game of full contact rugby sevens (single gender)
- The highest altitude game of touch rugby (mixed gender)
The LMAX Everest Rugby Challenge in partnership with Wooden Spoon aims to raise a minimum of £200,000 which will go towards funding projects that support children and young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK & Ireland.
Just like Freemasonry, Rugby can do amazing things and I am very proud to be connected with both. I have been a Freemason and supporter of Wooden Spoon (www.woodenspoon.org.uk) since 2003 when my age meant Freemasonry, rather than rugby, started to become a more conducive pastime. Today as founder and the Immediate Past Master of The Spirit of Rugby Lodge NO 9922 I am able to combine rugby, freemasonry and benevolence at the same time!
I am proud to have been a Freemason and supporter, member of staff and challenger at Wooden Spoon for over 15 years. Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby and with the support of the rugby community makes a huge difference to the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children (and their families) across the UK and Ireland. Making this difference is something I am passionate about.
I am privileged and fortunate to have been asked by Wooden Spoon to take part in this epic challenge to play rugby on Mount Everest and help set two Guinness World Records –
1. the highest game of 7s rugby and
2. the highest game of touch rugby.
We aim to play the matches above 6,000 meters Above Sea Level which means very little oxygen and - compared with other Spoon Challenges - is right out of my comfort zone.
I first took part in a “Spoon-Challenge” 10 years ago with fellow retiring rugby teammates. We took part in the Great Lakeland Challenge (winning it once). We also competed in and completed the 4 Peaks Challenge (Snowdon Cup Winners) and the John O’Groats to Lands End Cycle (fastest ever slow group!).
I developed a curious interest in Everest after a chance meeting with Sir Edmund Hillary when I was about 12 years old - combining rugby, adventure, challenge and Everest on the same trip is an experience I cannot refuse and one I am sure you will want to hear about. I am offering lodges the opportunity to hear first hand how we did on Everest from May 2019 - please contact me if you would like me to present at your lodge. MattMitchellXV@gmail.com 07738999741
I am aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity. Every penny of the 10k will help support disabled children and young people facing disadvantage in the UK.
Thank you for your generous moral encouragement and (hopefully) a little financial support.
The North side of Everest is steeped in the history of the early attempts to climb Everest by George Mallory and his team. It forms a magnificent arena to stage the world’s highest rugby matches!
The “pitch” seen in the centre of the photograph (below) is sandwiched between Lhakpa Ri (7,045m) and Everest (just off the right of the photo). The trek up to North Advanced Base Camp takes you far beyond the normal Base Camp trek, and offers the most spectacular views of Everest and its North Face.
The images are taken from the following websites.
Base Camp Image - http://www.tour-tibet.com
Main picture of Everest - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest
Everest Base Camp Pitch - https://woodenspoon.org.uk/get-involved/everest-rugby-challenge/