Top-of-the-world record trek for stroke survivor

Paul Jordan on the Arctic Rugby Challenge training weekend in Ogmore, Wales.

Paul Jordan on the Arctic Rugby Challenge training weekend in Ogmore, Wales. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk stroke survivor is preparing to trek a cool 100 miles to complete a record-breaking charity challenge on top of the world.

Paul Jordan on the Arctic Rugby Challenge training weekend in Ogmore, Wales.

Paul Jordan on the Arctic Rugby Challenge training weekend in Ogmore, Wales. - Credit: Archant

Five years ago, Paul Jordan from Woodbridge, was lying in hospital recovering from a major stroke.

But this April the 48-year-old will set out for the magnetic north pole with a squad of rugby fans and former players. Once there, the Ufford Park Golf Club captain will take part in a seven-a-side rugby match in a bid to set a Guinness World Record for the most northerly rugby match in history.

“I honestly didn’t imagine that I would be able to take on anything active like this at all. But I am a really determined character and within a few short months I was beginning to fight back,” said the regional manager at networking equipment firm Cisco.

“I’ve recovered well and now each year I take on a big challenge. This, it’s fair to say, is the biggest by far.”


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Mr Jordan, whose son Cameron, 14, trains with Northampton Saints academy, hopes to raise more than £25,000 for Wooden Spoon, rugby’s grant-making children’s charity. He will be joined on the trek by former internationals Tim Stimpson, Ollie Phillips and Lee Mears.

“I can’t even begin to imagine how I will react to being in one of the most extreme climates on Earth, but I am determined to finish and to set this world record,” he said.

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“It is all to help young people who really need a bit of a lift in life. After all, I know myself what it is like to need a bit of help.

“I have been training hard to get ready – and we have had special sessions to learn all we need to survive the harsh conditions we’ll face. I have to admit to being a little nervous about trekking so far from help if anything goes wrong and sleeping in a flimsy tent on such bitter weather. Perhaps the most sobering part of my training so far has been about polar bears and how to scare them away. They really are fierce creatures, not the cuddly things we like to imagine at all.”

To make a donation to the cause, visit justgiving.com/arcticjordy.

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