Rugby in the Chiller!
Andrew Walker hails from Lakehead, Closeburn but has another location in mind this year. In March he’s heading for the North Pole…to play rugby!


You wouldn’t imagine that a corporate lawyer is the kind of job that reeks too heavily of adventure. Yet Andrew Walker is proof that whatever we do in our everyday lives, there is a BIG ADVENTURE in all of us.

1 a 1 a ff Arctic Rugby challenge Squad
Andrew (5th from left) and the Squad

In March Andrew will be one of four Scots who will set out with ten others to trek a hundred miles across the frozen seascape of the Arctic to reach the Magnetic North Pole. Tough enough, you might think, but when they get there this squad of challengers will don their rugby kit, mark out a rugby pitch and play a full rugby match! It’s all to set a new world record for the ‘most northerly rugby match’ ever played…at the top of the world. If they are successful, it will be recognised as a new Guinness World Record and will be a record that can never be beaten.

Andrew’s mission is far more than simply getting there and playing the match however. He has committed to raising £25,000 for rugby’s children’s charity, Wooden Spoon. The charity is very active in Scotland, and all the money it raises is allocated to Scottish projects. What it has never attempted to do before however, is stage such an extreme fundraising challenge.

The conditions Andrew will face are pretty severe. Temperatures at this time of year dip to minus 30 or even minus 40 centigrade and winds rip across this remote and constantly frozen world to add to the misery. Add to that the interest of polar bears and the awkward realities of melting snow to get water for cooking inside a flimsy tent and it makes you wonder what got Andrew to sign up?

“Rugby has always been a great passion of mine and I have learned a lot about both hard work and teamwork from my playing days that began at Dumfries Rugby Club starting in the minis aged 8.
When I heard about this awesome challenge it immediately appealed to me. Coming from a farming background does condition you for working out in all weathers to an extent. We do get a fair few Arctic blasts in this part of the world but in all honesty I don’t think anything can prepare you for what it will be like up there. Nevertheless, it is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and the sense of team work installed in each of us will get us to the Pole and will help us break the world record.

The Challenge also presents a fantastic opportunity to support Wooden Spoon who are a brilliant organisation and a charity that I have come across more and more over the past few years.”

1 a 1 a Dugals Friday FocusAndrew has already had a generous fundraiser at Dumfries Rugby Club with a further one lined up, but he is also looking for others in Dumfries and Galloway to contribute to his big money target.
Andrew has volunteered to write regularly for Dumfries and Galloway What’s Going On as he gets ready for his adventure. That begins with some heavy training in Wales this month under the watchful eye of Jock Wishart, Dumfriesshire’s own polar adventurer.
So, if you want to back Andrew, you can do that online at www.just-giving.com/Andrew-Walker87. Any donations, big or small, are much appreciated by both Andrew and Wooden Spoon.
You can also find out more about his challenge at www.arcticrugbychallenge.org

DGWGO will be bringing you regular updates about Andrew and the squad during their challenge .

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