For the Players
For the game

Climbing Mountains for Charity – 3 Peaks, 3 Countries, 3 Days

October 9th, 2017

The Alpine Challenge is an annual event which raises vital funds for the RPA’s official charity Restart Rugby. Covering more than 60km and ascending a total of 4,500m across Italy, France and Switzerland, the challenge brings together former players and fundraisers for a truly incredible trek.

This September England rugby legends Charlie Hodgson, Ben Clarke, and Tamara Taylor all joined RPA Group CEO Damian Hopley for the challenge, with Restart Rugby Events Ambassador Charlie leading from the front for the second year running.

I can honestly say that the Restart Rugby Alpine Challenge is a life-changing experience. There is something special about being in the mountains and being part of an incredible team of trekkers committed to raising as much money as possible to support professional rugby players whose careers have been seriously affected by illness or injury.

“Being an Event Ambassador for the charity and taking part in challenges such as the Alpine Challenge and also the London to Brighton Bike Ride last month have been amazing experiences for me. I know how difficult it can be to transition out of rugby and find a physical a focus that will fill the gap that rugby leaves. Restart Rugby has helped me to fill it, keeping me motivated and on the move – whether that’s up a mountain or on a bike!

“Restart Rugby is a great charity. The help and care they provide to professional rugby players whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of illness or injury is invaluable. I feel honoured to be able to support such a worthy cause.”



Charlie was joined by Ben Clarke, former Bath, England and British & Irish Lions player who has also been integral to the event from day one.

“I’m proud to be supporting Restart Rugby for the Alpine Challenge. I’ve seen first-hand the difference the charity makes to players when times get really tough. What’s more, I’m a keen hiker so it’s great to get out on the mountains with the rest of the team.”

For 2017, we were also excited to welcome England Women’s lock Tamara Taylor, one of few players who has received over 100 caps for her country and has appeared in the last four World Cups.

“Despite only having a few days to get ready for the trek, (I stepped in as a last minute replacement for a player who sadly had to drop out due to a family emergency), it was the best decision ever. Before I knew it I was on a plane to Switzerland for a wonderful adventure with a great team of people. The scenery was breath-taking and the trek enjoyable and challenging. To cap it all off, the challenge was made worthwhile in the knowledge that it was all for such a fantastic cause. Restart Rugby makes such a difference to us players. They are there during the darkest times and I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to do something positive for such a great cause.”



Joining an amazing team…

Our players were joined by an incredible team of 16 intrepid trekkers and fundraisers on the challenge including Gareth Stapleton, whose company RISE Management Consulting is the founding partner for the event.

“A year ago I threw myself into the inaugural Restart Rugby Alpine Challenge, only signing up two weeks before it started. I had no idea what to expect but what followed was one of the best mountain adventure weeks of my life. Meeting new friends, enjoying the mountain air and there was a real sense of team achievement as we sat down to dinner on the last night. Restart Rugby is an amazing charity which we are proud to support both personally and corporately through this event.”

Raising vital funds for our players when they need us most…

Together the team have raised over £47,000 for Restart Rugby and its work supporting professional players suffering from serious injury, illness or hardship. Without support such as this the charity simply wouldn’t be able to do what it does.  Thanks to all who took part, we’ll be able to provide financial, practical and emotional support for players when they need us most.

Get involved…

If you’d like to know a bit more about how you could get involved the Alpine Challenge or some of Restart Rugby’s fundraising and awareness activities, please get in touch with our Head of Fundraising, Susie Baxter by email or on 020 3053 6670.


With thanks to our Founding Partner – Rise Management Consulting.




With thanks to our Event Partner – Chamonix Hard Cross