After fearing he would never walk again when he suffered a serious neck injury playing rugby, 14 year old James Gray will now take on an epic Coast2Coast Cycling Challenge, riding from Whitehaven to Sunderland from July 11-13 in support of the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
Having been injured whilst representing Sedbergh School 3 years ago, James initially needed to wear a head brace and required assistance to walk whilst in hospital, however he has since gone on to captain a school cricket team and take up cross-country running.
James last took on a fundraising challenge 3 years ago aged 11, where he raised an incredible £34,000 in seven weeks for the IPF.
To stay involved with rugby James helps the school team with training, touch judging and has taken a refereeing course.
He said: “I can play non-contact sports such as cricket, tennis, fives and I enjoy fell-running but most of all I enjoy still having involvement with rugby and the refereeing gives me the chance to be out on the pitch.
“Seeing first-hand what the Injured Players Foundation does at Twickenham, and having met the people I helped last time, spurred me on to take on this new challenge.
“The foundation offers amazing support to people who aren’t as lucky as I have been and it’s great to know that the money I raise will go direct to the people who need it.”
Mother Emma Gray said: “Coming to terms with the fact that he will never be able to play rugby again has been incredibly hard for James to accept.
“However, focusing on the challenge of helping injured players less fortunate than himself helped to get him through the dark days and now he has decided to give himself another challenge, this time on a bike.
Everyone at the Injured Players Foundation wishes James, Emma, and Alisdair the best of luck with the challenge and wants to say a huge thank you for all of their amazing efforts.