Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Rugby fan to set sail in bath tub

Rob Knapp will paddle 110 miles along waterways in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation

It will be no plain sailing when a rugby fan takes to the waterways on a tin bath next month to raise money for charity.

Rob Knapp, 36, from Syston in Leicestershire, will be paddling 110 miles along waterways in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation.

Most participants taking part in the fundraiser in May will make the journey from Rugby to London using canal towpaths. But Mr Knapp came up with a more interesting way to take part in the week-long journey, by paddling along waterways in a bath tub.

Mr Knapp said: "This is my third year taking part in the challenge and I just wanted to do something a bit different. I'll have a friend helping me along the way to get in and out of the bath when we come to locks. That will be the most difficult part - he'll make sure I don't end up in the water!"

The former Sileby Vikings RFC player bought the boat from eBay for £20 earlier this year.

Mr Knapp, who now referees rugby games across the country, said: "The bath is stable but it's difficult to get it up to speed. Saying that, I'll finish the challenge even if I'm still paddling at midnight."

Mr Knapp will join Leicester Tigers players past and present who will be taking part in the Walk4Matt event, along with other members of the public. The walk starts beside the Grand Union canal at Rugby on May 18 and ends on May 25 at Twickenham - the day of the rugby premiership final.

Former Leicester Tigers player Matt Hampson set up the foundation after he was paralysed from the neck down while training with England Under-21s in 2005. The charity works to support and inspire young people who have been seriously injured through sporting pursuits.

Mr Hampson said: "It is great to have Rob participating in such an unusual way and at least this year we will know he will have had a bath every day."

You can sponsor Mr Knapp on his fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/rob-knapp.

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