Exeter Chiefs superfan Lexi Chambers set to embark on mega challenge for charity

In a year that’s seen a record breaking number of ballot entries for the 2025 London marathon, Lexi Chambers has decided to go one - or rather 34 - better. 

The army veteran, ex NHS nurse and below-knee amputee has three chronic pain conditions, but this has not stopped her from committing to wheeling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just 35 days in August. 

In an effort to put women’s rugby in the spotlight, Chambers will headline a ‘Rugby Relay’ which will see her stop at 18 clubs - both grassroots and professional - to pass a signed ball from club to club. A ritual she hopes will pay homage to rugby’s inclusive spirit.  

She said: “It’s all about showcasing what people who watch women’s rugby already know - that it’s an amazing sport. It has the ability to change people's lives.

“It's also more than just a sport - for a lot of people it's a community. It's a home. Hopefully [by doing this] I can get more people to support and expand the women’s game with the little platform I have.”

The signed ball will travel in a glass box on top of the support car following Chambers on her 1400km journey from northern Scotland to the south west of England, with PWR clubs Bristol Bears and Chambers’ beloved Exeter Chiefs being among those to feature. 

All funds raised will go to The Aaron Lewis Foundation - who provide army veterans with access to sport and other wellbeing resources - and the Exeter Chief’s Foundation. 

“When we arrive at each club we’ll take the ball out of the box and give it to the captain," she explained. 

"She will then give us a new ball, and we’ll take that onto the next club, so no one knows what ball they're going to get. 

“But in our minds that doesn’t matter because the rugby family is one big family, whether it's the top players down to the young players. The involvement is the most important thing.”

Chambers will have to complete a marathon a day for 35 days to complete this challenge, but while this might be an overwhelming prospect to most, the Devonian is a glutton for personal challenges. 

“My goal is to inspire by demonstrating that despite adversity, achieving dreams is possible," she said. 

"My journey, despite physical challenges, serves as a testament to overcoming the seemingly impossible. I hope to motivate others to surpass their perceived limitations.”

Even a brief glance at Chambers’ impressive sporting CV demonstrates she really does practise what she preaches. 

Since having her leg amputated due to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in 2021, Chambers has broken world records for the fastest half and full marathons using a non-sport wheelchair and achieved a world record for distance travelled in 12 hours in a wheelchair. 

This new challenge will be another first, as no person has ever made the same journey in a non-sports wheelchair, but the challenge is also a personal milestone for Chambers.

“The idea [for the challenge] started when I had my leg amputated three years ago," she said. "All I had access to was a bog-standard wheelchair. I was just stuck in the kitchen with my really cumbersome chair. 

“But I didn’t want to give up sport so I started wheeling around anyway. At first I kept getting chucked out all over the place. It was awful - I had to make a stunt board out of the bottom of our cat carrier which looked ridiculous, but I kept going. 

“I realised that actually, if you set your mind to something, you can do what you can with what you have. The sky's your limit.” 

Despite being offered sports chairs for her various challenges, Chambers wants to make a point that having fancy equipment is not a prerequisite for participation. If you want it, go and get it. 

“Sports chairs are massively overpriced," she added. "They’re easier and lighter but they're not available for everyone. I want to show people that they can do anything they want with what they have.”

Startling ambition aside, one thing is clear: Chambers' effervescent attitude to life is one from which we could all learn a thing or two. 

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