Piltdown dad’s Arctic challenge

The challengers with the rugby posts
The challengers with the rugby posts

The challengers with a set of rugby posts at the North Pole

James, 40, who lives in Piltdown, works for investment manager Quilter Cheviot.

He is one of a gang of daring fundraisers - including three former England rugby union internationals – who have trekked 100 miles to the 1996 Magnetic North Pole in order to raise money for Wooden Spoon, a charity which raises funds to support disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK and Ireland.

Following 18 months of gruelling preparation, James and the team braved temperatures as low as minus 50C. They also had to prepare for the constant threat of polar bear attacks and blindng blizzards so that their final push ensured they were in with a chance of breaking the record.

On top of this, James and 14 others, including former rugby stars Tim Stimpson and Ollie Philips, each had to pull a 60-kilo sledge as they covered up to 20 miles of ice each day.

James, an investment manager based in the firm’s London office, has been generously backed in the trek by his colleagues at Quilter Cheviot Investment Management and has already smashed his fundraising target of £50,000 by raising £54,950. The team as a whole is hoping to have raised in excess of £300,000.

The Arctic Rugby Challenge is Wooden Spoon’s most extreme challenge to date and is sponsored by LMAX Exchange along with Quilter Cheviot. The Guinness Book of World Records team is currently confirming that the record has been successfully set.

James and the charity are also being supported in Sussex by Cumnor House School, Danehill, and Caffyns Land Rover of Lewes.

If you would like to support James’s fundraising and help him achieve his objective you can visit: www.justgiving.com/arctic-rugby-2015 or send a text quoting ARCT50 and either £2, £5 or £10 to 70070. All donations will of course be gratefully received and go directly to Wooden Spoon.

Wooden Spoon is a children’s charity founded in 1983, when the England rugby team received the Wooden Spoon in the Five Nations. It is dedicated to helping children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially by using sport to improve lives while harnessing the spirit and values of rugby. There are more than 10,000 members across the UK and Ireland and support comes from sportspeople who give their time and energy raising awareness and funds.