Former rugby player completes 24,000ft skydive clutching rugby ball

Former rugby player completes 24,000ft skydive clutching rugby ball

Watch the moment a former professional rugby player jumped out of a helicopter from 24,000ft while holding a rugby ball to raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Ex-Bath Rugby player, Iestyn Lewis, tumbled through the air just below Mount Everest in the Himalayas at 180mph in minus 30C temperatures to raise funds for Bath Rugby Foundation, a charity supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Somerset.

Mr Lewis described the experience as “the most frightening but exhilarating moment of my life” after completing the skydive in November last year.

“Fear took over as I was 24,000ft up, but I knew there was only one way down,” he said.

“Tumbling through the skies at up to 180mph and at a temperature of minus 30 degrees, unsurprisingly made me lose my bearings and I couldn’t hear a thing, but once I’d settled into the experience, I was able to witness the most amazing views and enjoy the thrill that not many people can say they’ve had.”

He aims to raise £29,031 – the height of Mount Everest in feet – and has so far raised more than £24,000 for a charity which he described as being “close to my heart”.

“The Bath Rugby Foundation is a charity I have supported for years,” he said.

“It felt like my last chance to do something as extreme as this and I knew that if I was going to do it then I wanted to do it for the charitable cause which is so close to my heart.”

Mr Lewis does not plan on completing any future skydives and said: “The only thing I’ll be doing at 24,000ft is enjoying a nice, cold gin and tonic.”

Helena Coury, head of fundraising at the Bath Rugby Foundation, said she was “honoured” after hearing Mr Lewis would raise money for the charity.

Man in tandem skydive through the Himalayas
Iestyn Lewis completed the skydive to raise money for the Bath Rugby Foundation supporting disadvantaged children in Somerset (Bath Rugby Foundation/Iestyn Lewis/PA Wire)

She said: “We couldn’t believe it when Iestyn told us what he was planning, whilst at the same time being truly honoured that he was willing to go to such extreme lengths to raise money for our charity.

“We’re delighted to have Iestyn back in one piece and want to thank him for his outstanding fundraising efforts for our cause.

“The money raised will go such a long way to helping the most vulnerable in our city and surrounding areas.”

To find out more about Mr Lewis’s fundraiser, visit: