NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A former England rugby World Cup winner on
Wednesday launched a rugby academy in Nairobi to promote early
rugby talent development in the country.
Jason Leonard, who
won the rugby World Cup in 2003 with England, and who is also
the President of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), said the Kings
Rugby Development Academy program will explore ways of
connecting with other rugby clubs in Britain to promote early
rugby talent development in Kenya.
“The program will
also use the game to transform children from under resourced
communities. For charity work to make change happen, one must
get directly involved in it,” Leonard said during the event in
Development Academy (KRDA) is a registered charity in Kenya that
was founded in May 2016 with the principal objective of
providing children between five years and 16 years from resource
poor communities and disadvantaged background with opportunities
to access, train and participate in the game of rugby, through
The training is
facilitated by 15 International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rugby
certified coaches and facilitators drawn from various leading
clubs in Nairobi.
The founder of the
program, Stuart McGreevy, said their vision is to have 10 kings
rugby development academies with 2,500 children being given a
track out of extreme poverty through sport and education and
support early rugby talent development in Kenya, through the
assistance of the UK’s Rugby fraternity.
are identified through partners, including the Lunch Bowl
Network, who have over ten years’ experience in providing
solutions to the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children
living in the Kibera slums of Nairobi.
currently has 235 children from Kibera comprising of 175 boys
and 60 girls.
The program has
helped the children from extreme poor communities to learn
essential social and life skills during which they have become
visible and tracks of development created.
McGreevy said the
goal is to help the children walk out of their adverse and harsh
The former World Cup
winner, who made his international debut aged 21, has had a
legendary rugby career as a prop where he appeared for England
114 times is the most-capped England player to date.
He was appointed
President of the RFU in 2015 and hosted the Rugby World Cup in
England in the same year, making him the first player from the
professional era to become President of the Rugby Football