Callum Oliver’s first week rugby coaching in Swaziland

 Callum’s Blog Week 1

Having arrived just over a week ago now, the time has really flown. I was picked up at the airport by Michael and Linda (who run the charity SKRUM)  in Johannesburg where they were attending to some business and we headed on to Swaziland. I have been staying with the Collinson’s at their home and have been welcomed like one of the family; Enjoying the good food and odd beer/caramel vodka on the famous veranda. I heard only good things about SKRUM and their time here from other volunteers and it has not disappointed.

This first week has been a brilliant experience and has been all that I hoped it would be. Due to the schools being on their holidays, SKRUM have been doing community coaching, which has meant visiting various locations around the country from 20minutes away to an hour and a half.

Here led by Malindi and Wilson,  we have taught different ages ranges (from 4 year olds to 54 year olds) basic skills such as passing, running and generally encouraging people to enjoy this new game.  The highlight of each session has to be the very competitive game of tag rugby at the end of each session. Malindi and Wilson really make the sessions enjoyable for all while getting across the message about SKRUM and HIV/AIDS awareness.

SKRUM has a real family feeling about it as a charity with everyone being passionate about what they are doing.  This was emphasised by the fact this evening everyone came together at the end of a successful week for a Chop and Dop (a BBQ and a drink for anyone not sure), where everyone had a laugh and recounted the week’s events.

On the Saturday we had training with the national side where they are preparing for the return leg of their Botswana Test match series.  I was put in charge of the forwards, and we worked on lineouts and scrums for a few hours. Although conditions weren’t ideal with the wind picking up and dust getting to everyone, the team were very enthusiastic with the training and with a few more sessions to go, they are looking to make a good account of themselves in a month time.

This is where I also found out my Swazi name, it is “Khulani” which I’m told means to grow/mature.  I am still a bit suspect about this, as when some of the national team boys found out they laughed!

The next week is a little disjointed with various bank holidays but I’m sure will be as fun and as fulfilling as the first. Today Malindi and Wilson are taking me to the Reed Dance where 60,000 women come together hopefully to be the lucky one selected by the King to be his next wife. With only another week to go before I leave, I’m sure that it will fly by just as this one has.



We send gap year students, university students, families, people on Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and people on career breaks to coach sports, teach and work in orphanages, work in marine conservation, primates conservation, land conservation, looking after rescued jungle animals, animal welfare, women's empowerment programs (sewing/fashions), men's empowerment programs (carpentry, plumbling, electrics, DIY), medical shadowing (doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists), after schools clubs, reaching out to underprivileged children and adults in South Africa, Kenya, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ghana, Ecuador and The Galapagos, Thailand and India. In Swaziland we offer bespoke rugby coaching placements with the charity Skrum where volunteers (18 ) can take their Level 1 rugby coaching certificate and then travel on to other placements and coach rugby. In India, the placements are suitable for families and undeer 18's are accepted providing they are accompanied by an adult. India is also suitable for Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. We also offer building renovation and reconstruction in India in July. India placements can be from 2 to 12 weeks.
This entry was posted in AIDS in Africa, AIDS in Swaziland, Gap Year, Gap Year in Swaziland, Level 1 rugby coaching in Swaziland, rugby charities in Africa, rugby coaching in Africa, SKrum, Swaziland, The Volunteer Experience, Volunteer rugby coaching abroad, volunteer rugby coaching in Swaziland and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Callum Oliver’s first week rugby coaching in Swaziland

  1. I am glad you are not a girl, Callum, or you might get picked as the future wife of the King!

  2. would have been better if i had found your website before, because i need to know about this subject, but it’s always good to learn something new. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

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