A 110-mile walk along the towpaths of the Grand Union Canal, Walk4 Matt10 aims to raise as much money for three worthy causes – SpecialEffect, The Rugby Players Association Benevolent Fund and Matt Hampson Trust.
Money is raised through corporate sponsorship events along the route, mobile texting, Just Giving websites, collection tins and good old-fashioned sponsorship for local events, through clubs and schools.
Each Premiership club has its own narrowboat travelling along the route in support of the walkers, breakfast and evening meals have all been planned along the route, and pubs and rugby clubs will supply fund-raising and entertainment opportunities.
The walk has the backing of British Waterways, Premier Rugby Ltd, the Rugby Players Association and all 12 Guinness Premiership clubs.
“Last week I was really concerned and nervous about the prospect of Tigers not making the Guinness Premiership Final, not just because I’m a fan, but because of having to face up to doing the week-long walk without anyone to cheer on at the final,” said Matt Hampson.
“Thank heavens we made it and let’s hope for a repeat of last year’s result.
“I’m delighted Leicester Tigers are playing Saracens in the final. They are great supporters of this event. Part of the money raised by the Saracens walkers goes to Henry Fraser’s Trust. Henry was a Saracens Academy player who was recently spinally injured on holiday. He is a top lad and I’m looking forward to catching up with him on the walk.”
A host of big names from the rugby world will be joining stages of this year’s walk, including Martin Johnson, Sir Ian McGeechan, Jason Leonard, Graham Rowntree, Shaun Edwards, Tom Rees, George Skivington, Harry Ellis, Andy Goode, Damian Hopley, Dusty Hare and Peter Wheeler.
EVENING STOPS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Saturday: Heart of England Pub, Weedon – quiz night
Sunday: Barley Mow, Cosgrove
Monday: Tring Cricket Club – Q&A with Dusty Hare and Peter Wheeler
Tuesday: The Fishery Inn, Hemel Hempstead
Wednesday: The Swan and Bottle, Uxbridge
Thursday: Brentford Lock stopping point for the boats, entertainment at the Sun Inn, Richmond
Friday: Participants end-of-walk party at The Barmy Arms
For more details, including route guide, see www.walk4matt.org