Ollie Phillips has had an extraordinary life. He is an international rugby player, sailor, broadcaster, ambassador, leadership mentor, social entrepreneur and adventurer. With 14 years of professional rugby under his belt, Ollie has had an illustrious and rewarding career playing for club and country, including being voted as the Best Seven's Player in the World in 2009 by the IRB. Ollie has played in three Seven's World Cup tournaments including Hong Kong, Moscow, and Dubai, and was England seven's Captain from 2008-2010. Latterly, he played for Stade Francais in Paris for two years and consequently speaks fluent French. In 2013, Ollie suffered a leg injury that halted his rugby career, so he accepted the opportunity to sail around the world on the Great Britain yacht as part of the Clipper Round the world Race, the only ocean race open to amteur sailors. By turning this negative into a positive, he seized the opportunity to take on a fresh cjallenge and learn new skills in a different team dynamic, whilst raising £10,000.00 for Wooden Spoon, the childrens charity of rugby. He plans to join the CEArctic Rugby Challenge in 2015 in aid of the charity, whilst maintaining his active role as an ambassador for the Alzheimers Society. Ollie is passionate about sport and is applying the skills he has learnt through his rugby and Clipper experiences to help others, either on a charitable basis or in a motivational and leadership capacity. His hunger for adventure, teamed with his entrepreneurial spirit and friendly persona, are the driving force for his post rugby career. Ollie is a regular Eurosport and Sky Sports pundit and is consulting for a variety of businesses, including PWC, Lloyds, Mayer Brown and Schlumberger. "Having visited Swaziland and worked with the SKRUM Programme actually visiting communities and help the SKRUM coaches, I've seen at first hand the work the SKRUM Programme are doing out there in the rural communites and schools using the game of rugby to engage people of all ages, both male and female and educate the people about HIV/AID's and Gender violence. And this is why I choose to promote, support and help the SKRUM Programme in the great work they are doing everyday"
Mark Snoden is an ex-Professional rugby player, now a professional player mentor and performance Coach specialising in leadership, team and individual development. Mark's work often involved using his rugby background in a number of charitable CSR prgrammes using sport as a vehicle to help people. Previously Mark skippered the England Rugby youth squad (U/18's, U/19's & U/21's) at numerous Six Nations and World Cup competitions. He went on to play professional rugby with Northanpton Saits and made 100 premeriership appearances. With the body complaining (only mildly) he has progressed to the non-contact world of coaching and consulting! Mark now takes that experience and is part of the English Championship winning coaching team at Harlequins Rugby Club and does a range of work in top professional sports coach and athlete development.
"It's an absolute honour to be an ambassador for the SKRUM. It is an amazing charity which does so much work for the young people within Swaziland. It uses rugby to give the young people hope and a freedom of choice to better enrich their lives. It is a charity that wants to help and believes in everything they do. It is managed and delivered by great volunteers who truly care. The charity focuses on working in schools to teach the students the game of rugby and develop the teachers to become confident in delivering the sport to its pupils. As well as providing rugby support the charity also seeks to teach health awareness so to educate the young people and ensure they remain safe. Overall this charity seeks to improve every person’s life whoever it may be they come into contact with either the young people, the teachers or the volunteers delivering the programme. This is a great charity that I am very proud to be a part of."
- Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Saracen's and England Women's No7
"What SKRUM is doing proves that sport really can make a genuine difference to young lives and as a former schoolmaster I know that Kids and Rugby makes a winning combination. Keep up the good work!"
- Jake White, 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok coach
"Rugby's taken me all over the world and one thing that's the same wherever you go is the look on a child's face when they first play the game. Children face challenges in Swaziland that we can scarcely imagine in the UK and SKRUM gives them hope. It's one of those projects that makes you proud to be involved in the game. Well done to everyone at SKRUM, congratulations on reaching the 100 school mark already and let's keep up the good work! "
- Josh Lewsey, Wasps, England, British & Irish Lions
"I am delighted to provide my support to Swaziland Rugby and the SKRUM project. Those of us that have been fortunate enough to have played and enjoyed the game of rugby union know just what a powerful tool it can be in changing the lives of children and young people. It teaches valuable life skills such as respect, discipline, and teamwork as well as providing opportunities to build self esteem and meet life long friends. The SKRUM project is an excellent example of how sport, and rugby specifically, can make a huge difference to the lives of those less fortunate. I wish all those involved in the project every continued success."
- Richard Hill MBE, Saracens, England, and the British & Irish Lions
"Rugby has always been about people for me, from team mates and opponents on the field to getting to know people on tour and ultimately making friendships for life. And SKRUM goes right to the core of rugby's guiding principles of cameradie, brotherhood and friendship. It is frightening what is happening in Swaziland and many other countries in Africa. Michael, Linda and their SKRUM team have taken on a massive challenge and I hope they get all the support they need."
- Nigel Starmer-Smith, England 1969-71 & renowned Rugby commentator