1. ITV Report

Richard Parks of 737 Challenge honoured by University of Wales Newport

Richard Parks received the Honorary Fellowship for his 737 Challenge and fundraising work Photo: ITV News Wales

Former rugby star Richard Parks has received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales, Newport.

An Honorary Fellowship is the highest honour that a university can bestow, and officially recognises a contribution made by individuals in various walks of life.

The former Wales International and Barbarian flanker raised £1million for Marie Curie Cancer Care by completing the 737 Challenge in July last year.

The seven-month race involved climbing the highest mountain on each of the world's continents and venturing to the South and Geographical North Poles.

Richard, who was forced to retire from professional rugby with a shoulder injury in 2009, said he created the 737 Challenge to ‘confront his fears and unanswered questions’.

In completing the challenge, he became the first person to stand on the continental summits and all three poles – the South, the Geographic North and the summit of Everest – in the same calendar year.

Today Richard told ITV Wales it was a 'great privilege' to receive the Fellowship.

From those who have made their mark on the world through culture, business or society, to the individuals who have devoted their lives to their careers and helping improve the lives of others - our Honorary Fellows are people that we can all be proud of.

– Professor Stephen Hagen, acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, Newport