Matt Hampson An Inspiration

All rugby players have various ways of motivating themselves and seek differing methods of inspiration.

Guys I have known have used music, sporting videos or DVDs, a particular film or a an experience from their past.

My friendship with former Tigers prop Matt Hampson has been a big inspiration to me.

Most people in rugby circles know about Matt.

He suffered an horrific spinal injury while scrummaging for England Under-21s back in March 2005, was paralysed from the neck down and never played the game again.

Since then, Matt has been a leading light trying to help charities and people who have also suffered injuries while playing the sport he loves.

His book: “Engage - The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson” is a superb read.

It is an inspiration because I like his attitude to life. He is a very matter-of-fact person.

He is very much of the ilk that ‘life goes on, so let’s get on with it’.

Knowing someone like that always keeps your feet on the ground.

There are times when you are training in the depths of winter or wishing that you had a nine-to-five-based job in the office so that you could just sit there and get on with things in the warmth with a cappuccino on the go.

Believe me, there are times when that is very appealing – when I am getting up at 7am to go and lift huge weights, or lining up to tackle a 19-stone Georgian on a Saturday afternoon are two such times that spring to mind.

Matt would do anything to have a crack at what I am doing. His chance to lead this life was taken away from him at a young age and that is never far from my mind when I get a bit fed up.

Buy Matt Hampson's book “Engage - The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson” for Christmas (Kindle copy).

Donate to the Matt Hampson Foundation that supports young people injured in sporting accidents.

Dan Hipkiss writes his blog regularly on Living Rugby, read more from Dan.

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