A FORMER rugby union international turned explorer swapped the South Pole for Chester as he dropped in to talk to colleagues at MBNA.
Richard Parks relived tales from his adventures to a packed auditorium at the credit card giant’s headquarters on Cheshire Business Park.
Richard, who was forced to call time on his rugby career in 2009 due to injury, spoke about the record-breaking ‘737 Challenge’ he created and completed in 2011.
He became the first person to stand on the highest summit of each of the world’s seven continents and geographical poles in less than seven months.
Richard said: “It was reading about the experiences of Sir Ranulph Fiennes and taking on board the message of the horizon being only the limit of our sight, which was a line from a eulogy read at my late grandmother’s funeral, that inspired me to make a change in my life after I was forced to quit rugby.
“I took a leap of faith and made the decision that I was going to confront my fears and I’m so thankful that I did. I’m now blessed to live an exciting, challenging and rewarding life as a result of taking that leap.
“I was delighted to be able to share my experiences with the staff at MBNA. I hope that my talk resonated with them.”
The talk was part of the MBNA ‘eXplore’ speaker series, which has also seen actor Warwick Davis, entrepreneur Sahar Hashemi and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes visit Chester.
Richard Whatmough, innovation executive at MBNA, hosted the session.
He said: “Since we introduced the eXplore speaker series, our staff have enjoyed talks from a host of fascinating individuals and we were delighted to continue that, thanks to Richard.
“To hear what he has achieved since being forced to retire from rugby was fantastic and a real source of inspiration. His historic achievements are a testament to what motivation, hard work and determination can achieve.”