John Myatt


Rugby For Heroes
Rugby for Heroes works with the rugby community to raise funds and awareness for military personnel who are making the transition to civilian life. We are committed to providing financial and personal support, to help individuals overcome the many challenges that this transition presents. Quite simply we are passionate about providing servicemen and women a level of support they deserve.
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Rugby for Heroes - Big Channel Swim

John Myatt

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This is the donation page for " Rugby for Heroes - Big Channel Swim” which will be attempted by us (Mark Leighton and John Myatt) in September 2017. 


In 2015 we both swam the English Channel from England to France as an alternating 2 man relay where one would swim for an hour whilst the other attempted to recover. It was the biggest feat either of us ever had to endure; we spent many months and countless hours training in pools, lakes, rivers and seas and had to withstand temperatures as low as 9c. On the 30th of July we made the crossing in 11 hours 37 mins completing a life long dream.


We are attemting to become the fastest two person team to make the double channel crossing, this feat has only been attempted once and the time we have to beat is 31 hours 28 minutes.

As a two person team you alternate 1 hour in the water with 1 hour on the boat, whilst swimming you will be working hard enough to maintain your core body temperature but then when you get out and stop it takes considerable time for your body to recover. We will also face sea sickness. Being tossed around on the boat during your limited rest is not much fun, this happened to us before but you can’t stop, you just have to let nature take its course and get on with it. As you tire, facing the cold water again after an unsettling hour aboard the boat can be a real mental challenge, the constant cycle as you battle the currents and the elements becomes daunting.

To make things even harder we will be swimming a month earlier than our previous 1 way swim and the sea temperature is likely to be 3 degrees colder at around 12-13c. This is going to have a significant impact on our ability to recover each hour, especially during the night as jellyfish rise to the surface and start to sting you, if you’re unlucky enough you can trundle for hours through what can only be described as jellyfish soup. 

When you start to add in all these factors you can start to build up a picture of how hard this swim can be, we are no spring chickens, we are both turning 45 next year, we both work full time and have young families yet we will have to fit in up to 43 miles of swimming a week during peak training as well as facing temperatures of around 6c to ensure our bodies are acclimatised to deal with the cold. 


We are both passionate about our military personnel and the services they provide to help protect our country at home and abroad. Both of us have friends and family that have served or are currently serving in the forces and are keen to raise awareness of some of the difficulties they face when making the transition back to civilian life. Rugby for Heroes really does provide a professional network of support for those that struggle during this testing time some of which could have otherwise been left to face turmoil and despair. Having played rugby for many years we can see the bonds that are forged when becoming part of a team/club. Being part of a rugby team, in many ways ,  is like being accepted into a family, much the same as being accepted into a military family/ unit. The process helps form friendships, stability and a new starting point in life. 


This is simply not just any old swim, we will be pushing our bodies to breaking point and in doing so will be creating history. We really hope we can raise as much as possible towards this noble cause through our daily endeavours.

If you appreciate the cause and what we are attempting to do then please be kind enough to make a small donation, any amount will be greaty appreciated and will help spur us on in training knowing we have your support.

100% of all dontations will go to Rugby for Heroes.

Recent donors

21.07.17 Mark all the very best to you and John in your daunting challenge. Just reading what you will have to endure brings me out in a cold sweat. Full of admiration of you both. Wine in hand!! -- cheers from John and Arlene.

22.04.17 This is to support Mark in this incredible challenge for such a good cause. A true inspiration in his dedication and endurance and I want to show my support from Scotland.

10.04.17 Thankyou to all of you who shopped at Tesco's in Quedgeley on Saturday the 8th of April and kindly donated to our charity to cause. It was great to meet so many of you. We would also like thank the Tesco staff and in particular Teresa from the PR team.

17.02.17 Good luck to u both I know u can do this.

07.02.17 It's going to be tough mate but challenges aren't meant to be easy are they! All the best.


30.09.16 Good Luck to you both.. You will smash it..


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