Matt Hampson, from Leicester, is a former England Under-21 Rugby player who launched his own foundation in 2011 following a rugby accident that left him paralysed from the neck down.
Determined to see his accident as a new beginning, rather than as an end, Matt set up the Foundation to mentor and offer hope to other young people with similar injuries and disabilities, providing them with a support network to share knowledge and experiences, and getting them back into sport via a specialist ‘Get Busy Living’ rehabilitation centre. Matt also coaches youth rugby, is an ambassador for both the RFU’s injured Players Fund and ‘Restart’ (The Professional Rugby Association’s charity), and fundraises for ‘Spinal Research’.
In a personal letter to Matt, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of the strength you have shown in setting up the ‘Matt Hampson Foundation’, inspiring others to overcome adversity and to enjoy the sports they love. As we come to the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, I also pay tribute to everything you do to promote this wonderful game, codified on the fields of our country and enjoyed by so many.”
“It is an absolute honour to receive the Point of Light award from the Prime Minister. I feel the award is not just for me, it recognises all the great work of our team and beneficiaries at the Matt Hampson Foundation!”