Ex rugby player Tim Stimpson spoke to the Rutland Biz Club about the values and determination that saw him earn him 20 England caps and play a pivotal role in securing two Heineken Cup wins during his time at Leicester Tigers.
Tim told attendees at the lunch, held at the Falcon Hotel in Uppingham, that his achievements as a rugby player sprang from a loving family background that put ethics above everything else. He believes this foundation helped him to succeed where the importance of humility and a lack of ego helped to build a strong team spirit – values he believes can be translated into civvy street.
He said: “I come from a family that puts ethics above anything else. As an 18 year old boy my Grandpa wrote in my birthday card; ‘nothing without labour.’ As a sportsman you learn that whenever there’s a problem, whenever there’s a failure in your life or a mountain to climb, then you’ve got to get things in perspective. Am I going to let this derail me or let hardship, failure or that mistake break me, or am I going to get, fitter, faster, stronger, and find a better way?”
Tim entertained attendees with highlights from his career that saw him included in the tour squad for the 1997 British and Irish Lions series in South Africa, winning a Test cap as a replacement in the final Test.
He also described his vital late conversion in the final against Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup Final in Paris, 2001, that saw Leicester Tigers win the match 34–30.
Tim said: “The ball flew through the sky, it dived into a pocket of air, hit the cross bar onto the post and went over. That’s how we won that European game on the tiniest of margins. But it wasn’t just because of me, everyone did their job, building me up, not to be scared or fearful of taking responsibility.”
Tim ended his talk by using rugby champions the Saracens as an example of how to reach personal goals in life. “The Saracens are winning everything this year. But they are not talking about medals, trophies or top point scorers. They are talking about a love for each other, big strong men talking about love and respect and honour and privilege with humility. You’re not going to reach your Everest if you’re bothered about your own personal success, it’s got to be about the group. Individuals win matches, teams win championships and clubs make legends.”
Tim is now on a crusade to reduce carbon emissions. He believes there needs to be a shift in behaviour within the next 12 years or scientists believe the damage may be irreparable.
Biz Club President Geoffrey Pointon said: “Tim Stimpson will always be a superstar to Tigers fans. He was pivotal to the success of the Tigers in the ‘90s. We have been very lucky to have him come and talk to us today, to hear how the values of sport can be translated to help build a successful career or business.”