Date: Thursday April 18, 2019 at 11:20am

LMAX EXCHANGE EVEREST RUGBY CHALLENGE, April 2019, Led by South-West entrepreneur and military veteran James O’Malley, for Wooden Spoon, Children’s Charity of Rugby

Devon based entrepreneur and Royal Navy veteran, James O’Malley, 47, will lead the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge in April this year, and preparations are ramping up, with training weekends across Wales, Scotland, and France.

James, together with a team of 30 challengers – (made up of ex-professional rugby players, businesspeople and charity workers), will be tested to the max, not just to trek across treacherous terrain in the toughest conditions, but to attempt two Guinness world record-breaking feats of playing a full contact rugby match, and tag rugby match, at the highest altitude – just above Advance Base Camp on Everest. The matches will aim to break the record set by the Steve Prescott Foundation at 5,752 metres up Kilimanjaro in 2015.


Teams will be captained by a clutch of rugby stars including Ollie Phillips, former IRB Sevens World Player of the Year, Shane Williams, Wales' leading try-scorer, England Women legend Tamara Taylor and 60-cap Test hooker Lee Mears. 

Each of the 30 challengers has been set a funding target of £10,000, to be used by Wooden Spoon to help young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage in the UK and Ireland. James is particularly driven to help the charity as his company Fusion Community Initiatives delivers team-building projects with social impact globally, partnering companies with local communities to create accessible recreation areas, sensory gardens, outside classrooms… all for schools and children’s hospices in need.


James’s own young nephew Harvey suffers with cerebral palsy and so making a difference to children like Harvey, is very close to his heart.

So, when he climbs to 6,500m to play the highest-ever game of rugby above Advanced Base Camp just below the North Ridge in just over two months, this will be the motivation he will undoubtedly need.  

"There’s already some great camaraderie in the group, helped by coming together for group training sessions across the UK – and we’re going to need it. It's going to be an amazing experience but it's also going to be really tough. We're going to need to dig deep and know we've got a strong team around us."

Fusion Community Initiatives is a Devon based, award-winning CSR company specializing in high-performance team building through ethical Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The company comprises a strong team of ex-military personnel, all of whom use real-time operational leadership skills to create highly effective programmes.  



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