University honour for Richard Parks


Richard Parks honoured by the University of Glamorgan
Richard Parks honoured by the University of Glamorgan

On Wednesday evening 30th November, former Pontypridd and Wales flanker Richard Parks was given a special award by the University of Glamorgan, with the presentation of a ‘Chancellor’s Medal’.

In a one-off event, the UK’s best known explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes came together with former Welsh international rugby player, turned record setting adventurer Richard Parks, at the University of Glamorgan.

Richard Parks was awarded the ‘Chancellors Medal’ at an event to mark the opening of a new lecture theatre in the Faculty of Health, Sport and Science and in honour of his work in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

At the same event, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, whose career inspired Richard’s own adventures, gave a lecture on his life and adventures.

Following a career ending shoulder injury, Richard was inspired by reading Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ book “Mad, bad and dangerous to know” and a sentence from his late Grandmother’s Eulogy; “The Horizon is only the limit of our sight”.  Both gave Richard the courage and inspiration to confront his fears, depression, anxiety and unanswered questions by creating The 737 Challenge.

On Tuesday 12th July 2011 Richard made history completing his world first 737 Challenge in 6 months, 11 days, 7 hours and 53 minutes.

The event saw University of Glamorgan Vice-Chancellor Julie Lydon present Richard with the ‘Chancellors Medal’ in front of students, Richard’s family, friends and 737 Challenge team.

Vice-Chancellor Julie Lydon stated; “We are thrilled to be presenting Richard with the Chancellor’s Medal. The determination and skill he has demonstrated in the Challenge is exceptional, as is his commitment to raising much needed funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The University is proud to have formed this association with Richard and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

A hugely proud Richard said; “I am really proud to have been awarded the Chancellors Medal last night.  As well as the actual recognition of the award, the night was really special as I was able to share it with family, the 737 Challenge team, Sir Ran and the students”.

“It was also really special to be awarded by the University of Glamorgan as I did some of the early physiological testing during the preparation for the 737 Challenge at the University.  Having been born in Pontypridd and played for Pontypridd it was an honour to be awarded the Chancellors Medal here and it was a fantastic night”.

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