Report: Swaziland with Skrum

Category: Trips, General, Sport

On Friday 13th October a group of 12 Remove and Hundred boys travelled to Swaziland, Southern Africa, to spend five days working with Skrum.

Skrum are a charity based in Swaziland headed by Michael Collinson, BEM. Skrum's vision is to positively tackle high levels of HIV and AIDS in Swaziland by using physical activity as a platform to educate youngsters about safe sex, as well as gender violence.

When the party arrived in Swaziland there was an immediate tangible sense of something unique. This was underlined by the staggering setting of Mphini Primary School, well off the beaten track into the mountains, where we would be working for the duration of our visit. The boys fixed over 50 desks, varnishing the tops and painting the bases; planted 39 fruit trees in the school's top field; removed over 30 broken windows, which were replaced with new glass by a glazier and re-painted 15 chalk boards in classrooms. Not to mention impromptu games of tag, rugby, chasing the resident goose, or line out practice (see photograph) during playtimes! All of the work we completed was made possible by the group's fundraising efforts prior to the tour, which made the boys' hard work feel very real.

GALLERY: Click here for a selection of images

With spirits a little down after emotional goodbyes with Mphini Primary and Skrum, the party travelled back west to Johannesburg. A visit to Ellis Park, the site of the 1995 Word Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand, helped to quickly raise spirits - with the Golden Lions' club shop officially raided by the boys! This was followed by juxtaposed day where we visited the superb Apartheid Museum, then crossed the shared car park to Gold Reef City theme park. The final three days were spent north of Pretoria at Mabula Game Lodge & Reserve - 12,000 acres of beautiful picturesque African bushland populated by the Big Five, and many more.

This was a truly humbling and immeasurably rewarding trip. It seems even more fitting that Michael Collinson will be visiting the College this coming weekend for the Festival of Sport, where I know the boys are very excited to catch up and share their stories of the latter stages of the trip once we left Swaziland.

We will also be presenting Michael with a final cheque for Skrum as a sum of all of our fundraising. I am extremely proud of the 12 boys, who were a compete pleasure to spend ten days with.

Marcus Sharrad
Head of Exercise & Sport Sciences

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