A group of adventurers have set a new world record for the highest game of rugby in history in an event organised by children’s charity Wooden Spoon.
On 30th April, a group comprising former international rugby players, leading business executives and others from the rugby community broke the record on the East Rongbuk Glacier near Mount Everest’s Advanced Base Camp. The game was played at 6,331m above sea level.
The game formed part of the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge, which has already raised over £250,000 in donations.
The group featured former international players in the shape of England’s Lee Mears and Wales’ Shane Williams. Former rugby sevens star Ollie Phillips and ex-England women’s international Tamara Taylor also took part in the game.
The group played the game after setting another record a week beforehand when they played the highest-ever game of touch rugby at Everest Base Camp (5,119m). For the game on the East Rongbuk Glacier, a full-sized rugby pitch, including flags and makeshift posts, was set up in accordance with Guinness World Record specifications.
Taylor assumed the role of referee for the sevens game, which pitted Team Phillips against Team Williams. The game ended in a 5-5 draw and also featured the Challenge’s four Sherpas.
In 2015, Wooden Spoon tackled the challenge of trekking to the Magnetic North Pole for the world’s most northerly rugby match, setting a Guinness World Record and raising £240,000 in the process. Wooden Spoon has set a fundraising target of £300,000 for its latest challenge.
Sarah Webb, CEO of Wooden Spoon, said: “We have been blown away by the challengers’ dedication, grit and pure determination. The challenge has been extremely tough, brutal at times, but the team have pulled together and broken two World Records in the most extreme of conditions, as well as raising over £250,000 for children with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK & Ireland.
“The LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge also highlights the wide range of beneficiaries we support who are attempting to overcome their own challenges. We hope that the achievements on Mount Everest can inspire people in all walks of life, from the children and their families who will benefit from the funds raised, to those moved to achieve something, whether it’s running 5km, climbing a (smaller) mountain, or even learning a new life skill.”
The LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge is supported by financial technology company LMAX Exchange.