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Ex-England rugby WC winner launches
development academy in Kenya

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 Nairobi.

Kings Rugby 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 non-contact training.

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.

The beneficiaries 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.

The program 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 conditions.

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 Union. 



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