Andy Donachie, a passionate Harlequins supporter, is taking on an epic sky-dive , with donations being split between ourselves and Macmillan Cancer Support. Read, or watch, his story and donate to this brilliant challenge!
Throughout lockdown I have had more time than usual to do some self reflection and this led me to wanting to push myself outside my comfort zone and to try and explore my own limits.
I have always been terrified of heights, struggling to get past the second rung on a ladder, so when I was offered the opportunity to do a skydive I pushed myself and signed up without thinking.
Then the reality of what I had just signed up for hit me, almost like the ground would hit you if you jumped from a plane and there was no parachute!
I decided that if I was doing this skydive for someone else then I would not be able to back out and I know I would push myself to my limits, so my decision was made that I needed to raise money for charity.
What better way to guilt myself into jumping out of a plane to my almost certain death than by doing it for a good cause.
Now I needed to decide which good cause or causes to raise money for.
My mother in law is currently going through treatment for breast cancer so I wanted to raise money for her choice of breast cancer charity but I also wanted to raise money for another charity that I had a personal connection to due to my own background.
When I was a kid at school, I wasn’t popular or cool and on one lunch break this reality hit me and I realised that the couple of kids I thought were my friends had gone off with some cooler kids leaving me on my own.
As a 13yr old boy I felt incredibly lonely and sad, I started to cry and young boys being young boys a group gathered round the 13yr old me and started to tease him for crying on lunch break.
Obviously this didn’t help at the time but now I can sit back with my hindsight and pinpoint that moment as the very minute in my life where I made a decision which would change my life forever.
I looked around at the boys in my school and the popular kids were all those in the rugby team so I decided right there that I was going to play rugby.
Over the next two years I worked hard at learning a sport I knew nothing about and training until I was selected to play for the school team.
I remember the first time I played for my school and how proud I felt that I had achieved something I had set my sights on two years earlier.
Sure enough I was accepted by my peers and through rugby I had found a new family that I have continued to be a proud member of into my adult life.
I have shared this family with my wife and we have been members of Harlequins family for a good few years now.
Knowing the positive changes sport, particularly rugby, had on my life I really connect with the work that The Harlequins Foundation do and I want to help them in any little way I can.
So, if that means that I throw myself out of a plane because you have agreed to donate whatever you can to them then I will push myself to my limit in the hope that the work The Foundation do changes a kids life in a similarly positive way to how my life changed thanks to rugby.
All donations will be split 50/50 between the two charities and I am eternally grateful for any donations to these two great causes no matter how small.
Inspired by Andy’s story? Then you can donate via the link below.