Wasps Andy Goode is urging people from all walks of life to ‘get busy living’ after helping kick off the Aviva Community Fund.
A nationwide initiative launched on Wednesday, the Aviva Community Fund offers support and funding of up to £25,000 to causes and projects that are put forward by the public.
Goode might be into the 17th year of his professional career, but despite all the accolades he has collected along the way the memory of former Leicester Tigers teammate Matt Hampson is still fresh in his memory.
Hampson was a prop who became a C4/5 tetraplegic after a scrummaging practice accident for England Under 21s on 15 March 2005 – the former front rower going on to form the Matt Hampson Foundation.
The Foundation aims to provide advice, support, relief and treatment for anyone suffering serious injury or disability which has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport, sporting activity or other form of physical education or recreation.
34-year-old Goode, an ambassador for the Matt Hampson Foundation, is hoping that with the Aviva Community Fund’s help that the charity can continue to grow from strength to strength.
"Matt Hampson is a very good friend of mine and an ex-teammate from Leicester Tigers," said Goode.
"He is a real inspiration and his motto is ‘get busy living’ which I think is fantastic. People who are wheelchair bound, amputees or anything from accidents within sport are really starting to see the benefits of the Foundation now.
"I am an ambassador for the charity and our dream is to build a Get Busy Living centre. It is a phenomenal project and it will help so many people, not just coming up over the next few years but for years to come.
"Twenty to 30 years down the line it will be a top of the range, high-end centre where people can come and stay and get themselves rehabilitated back into as normal a life as they can lead and, off the back of that, Matt is a true inspiration trying to help as many people as possible who have been unfortunate to have such sporting injuries.
"I am lucky enough to have played the game for 17 years now professionally and one day you could wake up and have a horrific injury and you are affected for life.
"So Matt Hampson is an inspiration but the Aviva Community Fund will help inspire a lot of young people and charities around to really get busy living and get out there and face adversity."
With the Aviva Community Fund tapping into some of rugby’s best ideologies, Goode admits the good nature of his beloved sport never ceases to amaze him.
"We are all lucky to live our lives the way we do, but let’s support guys who aren’t as fortunate as us,” he added.
"Matt is very humbled by all the support he gets from all the players and the rugby community, whether it be Wasps, whether it be Leicester Tigers, whether it be Sale up in Manchester.
"There are all sorts of teams who are very supportive and that is the rugby community for you – it’s great to be a part of."
Andy Goode was speaking about his support of the Matt Hampson Foundation at the Aviva Community Fund launch, a nationwide initiative from Aviva, title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby, which offers support and funding to causes close to your heart. Visit aviva.co.uk/community-fund