For the Players
For the game

Restart Rugby Alpine Challenge 2018 – Day One

September 13th, 2018


RPA Group CEO & Founder Damian Hopley brings you all the action from the 2018 Restart Rugby Alpine Challenge…..


Sunday 9th September – Arrival Day

The great and the good have gathered in Chamonix for the @RestartRugby Alpine Challenge 3.0, supported by RISE Management Consulting, and I’m duty bound, reader, to report this looks like a very lively ensemble. Some of the trekkers have arrived early to acclimatise and sample a local drop to help calm the pre-trek nerves, and quite right too.


Mike Denbee meets the locals.


We have a number of new faces on the Trek and the opening dinner is a great opportunity to break the ice with the 19 strong crew. Unfortunately two of our trekkers have returned home for personal reasons, so we raise a glass or two to absent friends. Trek veteran and Restart Rugby ambassador Charlie Hodgson hands out the shirts to each of the squad who, in turn, are asked to say a few words about why they are here supporting the charity. Think ‘Living with Lions’ with considerably less production value.


Damian Hopley, Charlie Hodgson, Ed Jackson and Will Matthews.


What follow is an extremely poignant ceremony as everyone openly explains to a room full of strangers their individual motivation for coming to Chamonix and climbing Mont Buet. The final recipient was none other than Ed Jackson, who suffered a life changing spinal injury 16 months ago at the age of 28, which left him virtually paralysed from the neck down.

Following an operation to realign his spinal cord Ed embarked on an intensive and exhausting course of rehabilitation and Restart Rugby was able to offer support providing vital funds to pay for the essential physiotherapy Ed needed. To hear Ed speak so passionately about the support he received from Restart Rugby and also the entire rugby community sets the tone for what promises to be an incredible adventure for those of us lucky enough to be here.

The extra bottle of red we share at the end of the night is unnecessary but helps us all get to sleep, despite the very tangible excitement for what is to follow.


To read Damian’s day two blog, please click here.


You can continue to show your support for Restart Rugby by clicking the links below: