Rehab centre's proud new link with sporting history

A paralysed former rugby player’s rehab centre has had a special delivery linking it with the historic origins of the sport.

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 1:48 pm
Rugby School pupils load up turf from their iconic rugby field ready for it to be delivered to the Get Busy Living Centre rehab facility at Burrough on the Hill
Rugby School pupils load up turf from their iconic rugby field ready for it to be delivered to the Get Busy Living Centre rehab facility at Burrough on the Hill

Matt Hampson, who suffered devastating injuries while training with the England Under 21 squad in 2005, has dedicated his life to helping other young people seriously injured through playing sport.

His charity, the Matt Hampson Foundation, has already helped hundreds of beneficiaries with their physical and mental health since setting up the Get Busy Living Centre at Burrough on the Hill four years ago.

And the centre has now installed 150 sq m of turf from Rugby School’s rugby field – the iconic setting where William Webb Ellis picked up a football in 1823 and ran with it, leading to the invention of the sport of rugby.

The iconic rugby field at Rugby School where William Webb Ellis first picked up a football and ran with it in 1823

It was kindly bought and donated to the foundation by its friend and supporter, Alistair Robinson, after he learned that the school was replacing the turf ahead of the 200th anniversary of the game next year.

The historic turf has put the finishing touches to the foundation’s GBL site, to which they have recently added some on-site accommodation lodges, offering a pioneering intensive rehab experience to those who are newly-injured.

Foundation CEO, Tommy Cawston, said: “We’re delighted to have a piece of rugby history permanently installed at The Get Busy Living Centre.

"Rugby is at the heart of the foundation and the community is so supportive of Matt and his mission to help other sportspeople that like him were injured doing what they love.

“We’re really grateful to Rugby School and Alistair for this kind gesture - the turf has helped put the finishing touches to the gardens of the new lodges."

Executive headmaster of Rugby School, Peter Green, said: “What a great place for our original turf to live on and we look forward to working with the foundation in 2023, when we hope to be able to host Matt here at the School. He is an inspiration to all of us.”

The foundation has always had strong links with the game – it’s patron is former England rugby captain, Mike Tindall.