Sky Sports covers Rugby Union vs Rugby League Relay Race across the English Channel in 'The Big Rugby Swim' four-part documentary. A worldwide first for an event of this nature, bringing together ex-rugby league and union players in two teams of six.
The event's objective, whilst raising funds, is to raise the profile and awareness of Head for Change and the plans being made to protect players and the game of rugby.
Alix Popham, former Welsh International and Co-Founder of Head for Change has continued his dedication to fundraising for brain health in rugby by preparing for The Big Rugby Swim 2023, which takes place between 7th - 11th October 2023.
HUUB have provided the wetsuits, clothing and swim accessories to help support the challenge. What makes this challenge extraordinary is that some of the ex-professional elite sports people could not swim a year ago. The training has been arduous, with very early starts, late nights, and weekends away from their daily lives to ensure they can be as prepared as they can be for the biggest physical, mental and emotional challenge of their lives.
Although the English Channel Swim is stated to be 22 miles long, the varying tides, rough conditions and changeable weather often present some problems resulting in a much longer swim, with one person being swept off course and having to swim 65 miles. The difficult conditions, and varying water temperatures in what is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, make this a challenging event for even the most experienced of swimmers. The swim will push the high-profile stars from rugby union and rugby league representing Head for Change beyond their comfort zones.
The two teams competing in The Big Rugby Swim are:
Rugby Union: Alix Popham (Captain), Ian Gough, Kieran Low, Carl Hayman, Matt Dwyer and Ifan Phillips with Coach, Dave Tonge (Heathwood Swimming) and Team Manager, Melanie Bramwell-Popham.
Rugby League: Mickii Edwards (Captain), Denis Betts, Jason Critchley, Mick Cassidy, Kev Brown and Cliff Eccles with Coach, Dee Harmer (Fish2Water), and Team Manager, Francis Maloney.
JustGiving > https://justgiving.com/campaign/TheBigRugbySwim