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for Syston at 14, successfully trialled for Leicester Tigers and was chosen to play for England U21’s in the 2005 Six Nations Championships. Then, during a routine training ses-


sion in the lead up to playing against Scotland, I went into a live scrummaging. The scrum collapsed. I took the weight of both packs and dislocated my neck. I woke up in intensive care at Stoke

Mandeville Hospital, paralysed from the neck down and unable to breath without the aid of a ventilator. During my sub- sequent 17-month stay, I realised that I potentially might not be able to play the sport I loved again and also do little else from my neck down either. Throughout my ordeal I received in- credible support from my family, friends

used to live the dream. I started playing rugby at five years old, played my first game at Twickenham

and people from all walks of life. I had memorable visits from Martin Johnson, Jonah Lomu, the Leicester Tigers and some of my England team mates. This support helped me to re-engage with the Tigers’ ethos – ‘get on with it and move forward with your life’. So I knew I had to keep positive and put a smile on my face. The idea for the Matt Hampson Foun-

dation came from the success of my Matt Hampson Trust, which was set up to raise money for my financial security. This has evolved, over the past year, into a foundation that ‘inspires and supports young people seriously injured through sport’. Its objective is to help them move forward in their life after an accident by sharing experiences, advice and support. My life now seems busier than ever

doing motivational speaking, writing for Rugby World and coaching rugby at Oakham school. I have also written a

book alongside Paul Kimmage entitled ‘Engage – the fall and rise of Matt Hampson’ which has raised the profile of the foundation through my story. So far, we’ve been able to help many

people, including current Paralympians, with financial support, advice or a friend- ly voice at the end of the telephone. My ultimate goal is to establish a centre where people can share their experiences and start to rebuild their lives. My injury has made me appreciate life.

It takes me several hours to get up in the morning so I want to make the very most of every day. The foundation has given me a focused goal to help other people in the same situation and it helps me to stay positive. Visit: @hambofoundation



he London 2012 Games will ignite an excitement across the country that few will have experienced before.

Within schools there has been increased anticipation for many months, with young people becoming ever more aware that the country is soon to host the greatest sporting event in the world. While the Olympic party is about to start

there is also much to celebrate in school sport this year. Following the success of the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games in May, which saw 1,600 young people compet- ing in Olympic venues; important dates in schools’ summer schedules have provided opportunities to motivate young people through sport that deserve recognition. More than 60 regional sports festi-

vals have been taking place across the country as part of the School Games, a nationwide school sport initiative which the Youth Sport Trust (YST) has been

Issue 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012

commissioned by Sport England to deliver and is backed by National Lottery and government funding. These celebrations are giving young people the chance to experience a range of sports, compete against their peers and are providing a platform for them to learn some life les- sons about the dignity of winning and the grace of accepting defeat. Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week

(25-29 June), ran in partnership with the YST, and used the excitement of London 2012 to encourage more young people to take part in sport. More than four mil- lion young people took part in Olympic and Paralympic events during the week and schools across the country held open- ing and closing ceremonies, torch relays and inter and intra school competitions. London 2012 World Sport Day was the opening celebration and a chance for schools to celebrate the athletes and

cultures of the teams that will be coming to the UK to com- pete in the Games. Alongside these opportunities, Olym-

pian Sir Steve Redgrave is visiting schools as part of our work on Matalan Sporting Promise. Elite athlete mentors will also be doing dozens of motivational school visits for Sky Sports Living for Sport, and Bupa Start to Move will continue to offer posi- tive experiences at primary school level. The Olympic and Paralympic Games will

dominate the news and sport headlines this year. However, it is the dedication of those working in school sport that are de- veloping our future leaders and sporting champions that may be making the head- lines in years to come. John Steele, CEO, Youth Sports Trust @youthsporttrust

Read Sports Management online 9

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