Jerry Flannery, Vincent Cunnane and Joy Neville scrum down with LIT students Picture: Alan Place
A GROUP of LIT students are planning a bid to break the record for the world’s largest scrum – and in doing so pay tribute to Anthony Foley.
Scrum for Axel, an official Guinness World Record attempt, will take place in the shadow of Thomond Park in memory of the departed Munster coach, who died suddenly in October.
The sports management students in LIT are planning to bring 2,000 people together to break the record and raise funds for charity in the process.
The bid, which is supported by the Foley family, will take place in LIT’s Moylish campus at noon on Tuesday, April 4, just days after Munster take on Toulouse this Saturday.
The world record attempt is also backed by Foley’s club, Shannon RFC, as well as Thomond Park and current and former Munster players, with members of the public also encouraged to pack down.
Anthony's sister Rosie has thrown her support behind the initiative, which she said was "brilliant".
"This is really the way to go. Anthony went to Moylish, or LIT at the time, many years ago when he left St Munchin’s. It would be great to have a Guinness world record with his name associated with it," she said.
LIT student Robert Lewis said the idea “came about shortly after Anthony Foley’s passing as it seemed a fitting way to commemorate him and a way of raising money for charity.
“We are calling on people to come along on April 4th and join in the scrum. In the run up to it, we are asking people to form their own Scrum for Axel and post it on social media under the hashtag #scrumforaxel.
“We’re delighted that his family are supporting us, and we’re fundraising for a charity of the family’s choice. Schools, clubs and individuals have come on board to support it, and we’re pretty overwhelmed by the reaction really. We’re looking for as many people as possible to come along on the day and to scrum for Axel,” he added.
Jerry Flannery said it was a “fantastic idea”.
“I’m involved and would love to see as many people as possible answering the call to come along and scrum it out. We’re remembering Anthony by setting a world record and raising money for a good cause in the process,” he said.
LIT president Professor Vincent Cunnane said it would be a “very special event”.
“The energy of our students reflects Anthony’s drive and energy, and the very fact that this world record attempt exists is down to the regard that people of all ages, walks and creeds hold for him.”
The current world record is held in Fukuroi, Japan and was set in September 2016. A bucket collection will be held on the day and all money raised will go a charity nominated by the Foley family.