Former England Sevens Captain Ollie Phillips is used to facing tough opposition on the pitch but he’ll be taking on a very different test of strength and endurance as a crew member on board GREAT Britain during the 40,000 mile unique ocean challenge.
Ollie Phillips is an England international rugby sevens player who previously captained the team in IRB Sevens World Series and was named 2009 IRB World Sevens Player of the Year. He was introduced to fellow team members in Trafalgar Square today where the GREAT Britain racing yacht is currently on display in front of the National Gallery.
Ollie will join his GREAT Britain crew members at the Clipper Race’s first stop in Brest, France in early September after completing a charity cycle ride from London to Brussels for the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause close to his heart.
“This is a cause really close to my heart and I hope through all these challenges and events, I can increase the awareness and help to continue the fight against dementia. As the current Alzheimer’s Society campaign says ‘Talk Creates Change’.
"My Grandma, someone who I love with all my heart, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in June 2012 and Breast Cancer swiftly after that; she passed away at the beginning of this year. My Grandmother's health deteriorated so quickly following her diagnosis that I decided to do something to help fight this terrible disease.
“Throughout my career as a rugby player I have always sought to improve and challenge myself. That challenge has not only been to be a better rugby player, but also a better person. There have been ups and downs along the way as is expected with these things, but I have to admit that the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race poses my biggest life challenge to date.
“I think that mentally, physically and emotionally it is going to push me to my limits, but that is something that I look forward to facing and overcoming.
“I have an ambition to play at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games for Great Britain. I'm immensely proud to know that part of my mental and physical journey towards fulfilling that ambition will be tested and conquered under the sails of the GREAT Britain team Clipper Race yacht!”
The GREAT Britain yacht has been on display in Trafalgar Square since Wednesday and will remain available for public viewing till 8pm, Sunday 4 August.