1 December 2017
SKRUM Founder Educates Pupils on the Power of Rugby
Michael Collinson, the founder of SKRUM Rugby, a Swaziland-based charity raising awareness for HIV/AIDs and gender violence, visited King’s College recently.
Yorkshire-born Collinson, who first travelled to Swaziland in 1985 as a mining engineer, became deeply involved in the country’s rugby scene.
In 1995, he suffered an accident but later went onto become coach of the national Swaziland side, and then President of the Swazi RFU.
A second accident in 2002 left him permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair, but despite this setback, and with the help of his wife, he set up the SKRUM charity.
Through this, he combined his two undying passions: rugby and helping to combat HIV/AIDs. The epidemic, which has lowered Swaziland’s life expectancy to just 32, is threatening to decimate the population unless serious action, in particular, education, is put in place.
SKRUM’s mission is to engage the youth of Swaziland in rugby, the state’s fastest growing sport, while educating participants about the virus.
Following their training sessions last week, players from the King’s Under 14s, 15s and 16s joined together on the first XI pitch to listen to Michael.
Ed Lewsey, Director of Rugby at King’s, said: “The King’s boys enjoyed listening to Michael. His message is a salient reminder not only to consider the plight of some of our less privileged rugby brethren, but also that this sport can be a wonderful vehicle for good and can unite people in different parts of the world.”
Ed also added: “There is also an opportunity for our older boys to visit and volunteer to support SKRUM Rugby’s worthy cause. The staff and pupils at King’s are extremely thankful for Michael’s visit.”