Richard Parks


Richard Parks has led something of a double life, having gone full circle from professional rugby player to record breaking explorer over the course of his uniquely intriguing career.

Richard began playing rugby during the professional era, signing his first contract with Welsh side, Newport RFC. After making 62 appearances for the side and winning the Arthur Boucher Award for the Most Promising Player, Richard was released due to suffering a stress fracture in his spine.

He overcame injury to join Pontypridd, where he earned a call up to the national team, becoming the 1001st player to represent Wales in a fixture against South Africa in 2002. He was part of the 2003 Six Nations squad but did not play in the tournament.

Spells at Celtic Warriors and Leeds Tykes followed, where he became a key player, often named as vice captain. He would help the club to win the introductory Powergen Cup, the first trophy won in the club’s history. He would then move to Perpignan and Newport Gwent Dragons before injury got the better of him and he would be forced into retirement after 269 appearances in 13 years for club and country.

Inspired by the journey of the world’s most prominent adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Richard would take on an entirely new challenge. Just a year after hanging up his boots, he embarked on a challenge to climb the highest mountain on all seven continents, as well as complete the Three Poles Challenge inside seven months.

While raising hundreds of thousands for cancer charity, Marie Curie, Richard completed the 737 Challenge in 6 months, 11 days, 07 hours and 53 minutes to set a new world record. His journey would also become the subject of BBC Cymru Wales’ three-part documentary, Richard Parks – Conquering the World. His journey earned him a host of accolades including the Just Giving Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year award, a Rugby Writers’ Club Special Award and Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Glamorgan. He would be selected to carry the Olympic torch, was invited to meet the Queen and was named in Business Insider’s top 100 most influential people in Wales list.

Since the remarkable success 7 summits and 3 poles in 7 months, which has been broadcast across the world, he has embarked on several other missions, including an unsupported trek to the South Pole covering 715 miles in just under 30 days to set another record as the fastest solo Briton to do so. This, alongside his preparation and completion of various endurance races was shown on Channel 5.

More documentaries for the BBC followed, including Extreme Wales with Richard Parks and Richard Parks on Everest proving without a doubt his status as one of the most significant adventurers of our time. An exhilarating speaker with stories to tell that can merge themes of self motivation, teamwork, overcoming adversity and peak performance, Richard Parks is a must-have adventure speaker.

To book Richard Parks as the motivational speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency.

When at corporate events, Richard is known to cover the following topics:

  • Motivational Speaker
  • Peak Performance
  • Maximising Success
  • Transformation
  • Finding Opportunities
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Risk Consideration

“Richard’s story is a perfect one to inspire the children to improve their all round standards of literacy. His visit to Casllwchwr Primary was a truly memorable and fantastic occasion. The positive impact he made on the children that he met and answered questions to is genuinely immeasurable and is another wonderful outcome from his brave decision to undertake the 737 Challenge in the first place. Stories such as Richard’s provide a unique opportunity to engage children with literacy and improve their skills. Their project on Richard was an incredible academic success and one that all involved will never forget.” – David Brayley, School Governor & Education Consultant

“Richard has really become part of the family at Admiral. He has inspired staff across the organisation, whether speaking to thousands at our annual staff general meeting or to smaller groups as an ambassador for our Ministry of Health initiative. What you see is what you get with Richard, an approachable, passionate and infectiously positive person, and we are lucky to have him associated with Admiral.” – Louisa Scadden, Head Of Communications, Admiral Group plc 

“The challenging goals we have set require continued great leadership, flexibility and an enhanced sense of ownership across the company. We asked Richard to get involved because of the challenging goals he had to overcome to succeed. The video we produced with Richard inspired and engaged our team as the 737 Challenge had many synergies with our own vision and his passion and professionalism meant he worked closely with our team to deliver exactly what we needed.” – Andy Street, Managing Director Of John Lewis

Richard was a great choice of speaker for our event.  He was incredibly engaging and very inspiring. Richard was able to relate the journey he has been on over the last 10 years to various aspects of the business world we operate in and it really hit the mark with a lot of our staff. All in all a perfect choice of speaker for our event.  Thank you for putting us in touch with Richard!” – Nick, Energi People