Sherpas, guides, and porters stand as the often-overlooked and unsung heroes behind our incredible adventures.
Without their unwavering support, achieving our goals would be an almost insurmountable challenge. They bear the weight of crucial equipment and supplies, guaranteeing our sustenance, hydration, and shelter. Moreover, their expert guidance and vigilant presence play an indispensable role in safeguarding us throughout our voyages and adventures.
It was a bittersweet, last night, on Mt Everest. We had achieved what we had set out to do – play rugby at altitude.
On the Mountain we had seen friends sent home early.
Twenty-seven of us arrived at Everest base camp, Tibet on 20th April and only 19 made it to Advanced Base Camp 3 (6500 m).
We were short of team members, therefore the match could never have taken place, but thanks to Phurwa Wangchhu Sherpa : Phu Rinjee Sherpa : Pemba Gelzen Sherpa who volunteered to play alongside us, we ’All’ achieved a Guinness World Record Certificates for Highest Seven-a-side Rugby Union Match (6331 m) on 30th April 2019
Regrettably Wooden Spoon Charity choose not to acknowledge and arrange for Guinness World Record Certificates for the three Sherpas who played in the match!!!
I did give the CEO of Wooden Soon Charity the Sherpas names and contact details (Kari Kobler) – to no avail.
So I reached out directly to the Guinness World Records, and their support was truly remarkable.
Upon receiving the three Certificates, I coordinated with Andreas Neuschmid from Kobler & Partner GmbH, a colleague of Kari Kobler at Everest Base Camp in Tibet, to ensure the delivery of these certificates to all three Sherpas.
Between Lesley and myself, we had already raised about £10,000 for the Wooden Spoon Children’s charity. Lesley talked to schools and raised money (averaging £200 to £300 per school). She spoke to 1800 pupils in five schools, spreading the word.
Regrettably, Wooden Spoon Charity decided we had not raised sufficient funds and therefore did not award us “Guinness World Record Certificates” for our participation and playing in the Highest Seven-a-side Rugby Union Match on 30th April 2019
Guinness World Record took a totally different view – Lesley and I had participated and played in ‘both’ games therefore we deservedly achieved the Guinness World Records and sent us our Certificates.
I had conversations with our local Wooden Spoon Officials regarding my circumstances. Going forward they still asked me to act as an ambassador for them at local events; it was a great privilege to be asked and a pleasure to do.
I do believe in charity work.
My modest contribution towards various charities started with me running in the 1984 London Marathon. Over nearly 40 years I have competed in an excess of 100 running events, climbed mountains, rowed rivers and an ocean, taken active roles in many adventures. Given my past, I made a personal decision to give back something to society. I choose to raise funds for Charities and not get found out; if anyone knows of it, it will not count.
Phurwa and his two fellow Sherpas were invaluable participants in the Highest Rugby game ever played. Without their exceptional support, our World Record achievement would have been impossible to attain.