Volunteer Vacations were thrilled to be part of an event on Monday 7th November at Vinopolis celebrating the success of the rugby charity Skrum and the launch of its volunteering programme. This will involve both rugby coaching and delivering the educational and health programmes that Skrum have created to help the youth of Swaziland beat the AIDS/HIV virus and empower themselves for a better future. Swaziland apparently has the highest AIDS victims in the world, some 42% of the population and average life expectancy is a mere 32 years old. Skrum are now extending their excellent model to other countries in Africa and taking rugby to new regions and new people.
Speakers included Michael Collinson, the founder of Skrum, Graham Price (who had the room in stitches with all his hilarious stories), the MP Elfyn Llwyd (who was very passionate about the work Skrum does), Andy Berry of Touraid.org, Hackney Rugby Club who spoke with passion about how rugby brings people together (they lost their clubhouse in a fire but refused to let it put them off and continued to play and change outdoors and eat their after-match snacks al fresco), Charlie Harrison, the Director of Rugby at Marlborough College (who currently have one of the Skrum coaches from Swaziland working at the College for 3 months and support Skrum and all that it stands for) and, of course, the lovely Mike Phillips who is an ambassador for Skrum and entertained us chatting to compere Iain Richards, Skrum’s Fundraiser and organizer of the event, about his recent games and helped with the auction of fabulous prizes that had been donated and drawing of the raffle.
Such is the support for this well-respected charity (adopted as the official charity for Rosslyn Park), that with so many influential people willing to promote it and support it, it can only go from strength to strength.
Volunteer Vacations can tailor -make bespoke packages for keen rugby coaching volunteers who want to go to Swaziland and it is hoped that in future the Skrum volunteers will go on to other neighbouring countries and spread the Skrum model.