The Headsouth is the ultimate challenge in The Lewis Moody Foundation Headsup series. It will see Polar Explorers Alan Chambers MBE and Wayne Hoyle lead former England Rugby Captain Lewis Moody MBE, and a team of ten of the UK’s foremost corporate CEOs, across the Antarctic plateau to the South Pole on 3rd January, with an aim raising over £250,000 for the Lewis Moody Foundation.  They will also hone their management strategies and test themselves, not only physically but emotionally and mentally to become stronger business leaders, improve their resilience and help them cope with the stress of contemporary business challenges.

The money raised will be donated to fund the Tessa-Jowell Brain-Matrix, a first-of-its-kind clinical trial that will enable doctors to treat brain tumours with drugs which are more targeted than ever before. The Brain-Matrix is inspired by the incredible and brave Dame Tessa Jowell who lost her life to a brain tumour in 2018.

Their incredible journey to the southernmost point on Earth involves a long and strenuous 60 nautical mile trek (69 mi/111 km), across one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet, to reach the most southerly point on Earth.  This will be an expedition in the most remote part of Antarctica, where physiological altitude will be close to 10,000 feet (3350m) for many days in a row, and temperatures may drop below –40°F / –40°C, with severe wind chill and storms.

The Headsouth team will set off from the Union Glacier Basecamp and experience first-hand the challenges faced by early explorers. A windswept frozen landscape that demands everything you have got to survive and achieve your goal.  They will complete 10 hours of ice travel for at least 10 days straight, in some of the coldest temperatures on Earth, to reach the Geographic South Pole in one of the most extreme tests of physical and psychological endurance that they will ever experience.   The team will be active for 8-12 hours each and every day, hauling heavy loads, stopping only to eat every couple of hours. Each team member will need the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when they are physically exhausted.








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Extreme Leadership

 However, this is only the start of the adventure.  During an expedition to the North Pole Alan Chambers, Wayne Hoyle, Lewis Moody and Dr Neil Counihan hatched the concept of Extreme Leadership.  On their return they launched ‘The Extreme Leaders’, an experiential programme which is designed to deliver true transformation to business leaders and organisations.  Each business leader has their individual organisational and personal challenges mapped out, and from that a tailor-made programme is developed to help them traverse their challenges and develop the mental, emotional and physical agility, resilience and strength to become even stronger leaders.

The Extreme Leaders’ quests can take place in extreme environments such as the Poles, but can also be arranged closer to home. They can also be organised as a dedicated group experience for a single organisation to help their senior management team to work out their combined challenges and work collectively to resolve them and to pull in the same direction.


Extreme Leaders

Polar adventurer Alan Chambers, MBE, is a former Marine Commando, polar adventurer and extreme leader.  He led the first successful British unsupported expedition from Canada to the Geographic North Pole. They walked 672 nautical miles in temperatures as low as -65°C, dragging a sledge the weight of a baby elephant. After a gruelling seventy days on the ice, on 16th May 2000, Alan and his teammate raised the Union Jack.  Alan has subsequently led 5 North and South Pole expeditions for top business leaders and chief executives. He helps them to explore and reflect on their own leadership capabilities.  Raising £10 million for charities.

In 2006 Alan lead a team to complete the gruelling Yukon Arctic Ultra Challenge.  In 2008 he led and crossed Greenland as part of the Feet of Green initiative. The initiative was designed to inspire children with a spirit of adventure and care for the environment.  In 2009 he led a team of senior executives and high achievers to the South Pole.

A former Royal Marine with 16 years-service, in 1995 Alan was a member of the first winter expedition to traverse Iceland by ski. He has sledged across Greenland, Canada North West Territories, Norway and Iceland.

At the age of 32, Alan was awarded an MBE by HM The Queen in 2000 for ‘Effective leadership in constant adversity’.

In preparation for the 2003 rugby world cup, Alan was invited by Sir Clive Woodward to speak to the England rugby squad, concentrating on project focus, maintaining direction in adversity and the change that will have to be adapted to.

Rugby team captain Martin Johnson, commented: “Alan’s amazing story highlighting the remarkable focus and leadership he had around the north pole trip truly inspired the team in their preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2003.” The England team went on to win the World Cup.

Alan was also invited by Duncan Fletcher to speak to the England cricket ashes team in their preparations. Focusing on the mental endurance and the winning belief needed to achieve regaining the ashes – which they hadn’t won for 18 years.

Duncan Fletcher, England ashes Head Coach commented: “Alan Chambers was with us all the way through the ashes, if only from a distance. At every turn he recognised a situation from his journey and related it to that which we were encountering. That was great to know and provided excellent motivation, as well as a frequent good talking point. We used Alan’s analogies in the changing room after we lost the first test.”

Alan is partnered on his quests, and also joined at the helm of the Extreme Leaders by Wayne Hoyle.  Wayne spent more than 30 years serving in the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF), including a 2-year command assignment to US Seal Team Six.  He served in every major conflict since the mid 1980s, starting his career as a Royal Marine and working his way through the ranks to commission as an officer in UKSF; He was awarded the QCVS on two occasions for his role on operations.

Wayne was the first serving Royal Marines Officer to walk unsupported to the Geographic North Pole, and has led challenges across Vietnam, Cambodia, the Sahara, Central & South America, and Africa. Wayne and Alan also established a new route on the north face of Kilimanjaro in 2017; their efforts have raised more than £10 million for charities.

Lewis Moody MBE, is a retired English rugby union player who played for Bath Rugby Club and was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side. He captained the country side in a third World Cup campaign in 2011. Moody was known for the enthusiasm with which he plays the game, his willingness to chase down opponents and his ability to compete for possession at restarts, earning him the nickname ‘Mad Dog’ from teammates and supporters.  The former England Rugby Captain will go down in history as one of England’s finest and most charismatic players, after injury forced the most capped England flanker to call time on his illustrious career.

With two World Cup Finals, two 6 Nations Championship Winners Medals, two Heineken Cup Winners Medals and seven Premiership Winners Medals, the ex-England captain, Leicester Tiger and Bath stalwart is a true rugby legend, winning next to everything there is to win in the game he loves.

Now, with the same drive and passion and a massive understanding of the difference he can make, Lewis is focussed on raising funds to help make a difference to families affected by the devastating diagnosis of a brain tumour now and in the future.   He also runs a not for profit organisation which provides rugby training for school children in deprived areas of the UK.

Dr Neil Counihan is a serial entrepreneur with an insatiable appetite for adventure.  Founder and Medical Director of the largest private orthodontic clinic in London, sold to BUPA Healthcare in 2019, he is driven by a need to make a difference in the world and in recent years has channelled his boundless energy into stem cell research.  Neil holds an MSC in the subject from King’s College London and has a specialist interest in the use of stem cell therapies for chronic wounds in diabetes – a passion which has propelled him to the front line of regenerative medicine.

An intrepid explorer and natural leader, Neil routinely tests his mettle on challenges that push him not just physically but also mentally: from gruelling North Pole expeditions – an initiative which raised over one million pounds for the Borne Foundation – to completing four marathons in four days in the Norwegian Fjords.  He is shortly to embark on a mission to the South Pole to raise awareness for brain tumours, making him the only dentist to have made it to both Poles.  On a previous North Pole trek Dr Counihan’s dental skills were called upon when two of the participants’ teeth ‘exploded’ as a result of the extreme cold!

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