Monday 23 April 2018

WATCH - Incredible scenes as LIT students break Guinness World Record with ‘Scrum for Axel’

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Anthony Foley's sister Rosie was in attendance as 1,740 people came together for a 'Scrum for Axel' to honour the former Munster head coach at LIT today.

Held at the Institute’s headquarters at Moylish, where Foley himself attended before taking up a professional career in rugby, the event saw the existing World Record for the largest scrum ever of just  short of 1,600 turned over as 1,740 put their shoulders behind the initiative.

Young and old, from LIT students and staff, to local primary schools, rugby clubs, fathers and mothers, sons, daughters, right up to pensioners all joining to create this special tribute to the heroic Shannon, Munster and Ireland rugby legend who died suddenly last October.

Anthony’s sister Rosie, herself a former Ireland rugby international, was on hand to help set the scrum.

The formation was in keeping with the standard scrum; three front rows, two second rows and three back-rows locking down in repeat scrums side by side he length of the institute’s GAA pitches.

Adjudicators from Ernst and Young were present for the record-breaking attempt, and documentary evidence has now been sent to the Guinness Book of World Records for official ratification.  The number was well and truly broken however, as every last participant was counted before they were dispatched to the pitch in groups of 50 at a time to join the scrum which ran, end to end, all of 150 metres. 

Reflecting on the achievement, Rosie Foley said the family have been humbled yet again by the continued dedication to Anthony’s memory. 

“So many of these students would even have been too young to see Anthony play. Yet they have created this piece of history in his honour," she said.

“We’ve been so humbled by the tributes, the incredible support and the all-round generosity of people since Anthony sadly passed away.  Today is a really special moment in all of that as it’s coming from young people and it’s great to know they cherish his memory like we do. It was the perfect piece; a world record scrum in his name and money raised also to go to charity.

“The students deserve so much praise for this as I have heard just how much work they put into it.  Aside from the fact that we as a family are obviously touched by this effort, individually the students themselves have been part of something very special by setting a world record.”

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