Meet The Team
SKRUM is run by an amazing team of Coaches, Volunteers and Trustees in Eswatini & UK.
We simply couldn't do it without their support.
In 2001 'Spirit of Rugby' were the words chosen by the game's governing body, World Rugby, in recognition of passion, commitment and outstanding contribution to the sport. No three words could better describe SKRUM's founder and the 2003 recipient of that award, Michael Collinson.
Michael, a proud Yorkshireman and charismatic leader arrived in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) in Southern Africa in 1985. He quickly fell in love with the country, its people and the rugby scene. A mining engineer by profession, Michael channelled his love and enthusiasm for the game into the Eswatini Rugby Union, becoming its President in 1998 and selflessly giving up hour upon hour as coach, assistant coach, water-boy, supporter and even cheerleader for every team that happened to be representing the country.
In 1995 Michael suffered a freak accident during a friendly match against Lothair in South Africa. He broke his pelvis and crushed a disc in his lower back and was confined to a hospital bed for a number of months. However, against all odds, Michael’s determination saw him return to rugby as both a manager and player. Tragically, however, his playing career was ended permanently five years later.
On Boxing Day 2002, driving back from a party in the Lowveld his car rounded a corner and hit a large bull, which landed on the roof of the vehicle across the passenger side, where Michael was sitting. While his broken collar bone, sternum and severe head injuries could all be treated, his severed spinal cord was beyond repair. Michael is wheelchair bound for the rest of his life, but remains the life and soul of the party. He remains in Eswatini and is still President of the country's Rugby Union.
In 2007 Michael set up the SKRUM charity to combine his two undying passions: rugby and helping to combat an HIV/AIDS endemic which threatens to wipe out the population without action and education. Michael is the powerhouse behind SKRUM, overseeing the day to day operations, co-ordinating the training sessions with local schools and communities and ensuring the SKRUM message reaches as many children as possible. Michael’s incredible commitment to the cause earned him the British Empire Medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth !! in June 2015. Fittingly Michael received his BEM in Eswatini at the end of an Inter-Schools 7s Tournament!
Michael is based in Eswatini. You can contact him by Email: email@example.com
Our Coaches - Eswatini
Our team of local coaches are individuals with a passion for the game of rugby, a love of their country and a determination to help improve the lives of young Swazis. The SKRUM coaches run the day to day programme in Eswatini, managing rugby sessions in schools and communities and making classroom presentations to students on HIV/AIDS awareness and social responsibility.
The enthusiasm and commitment of our coaches offers us the opportunity to reach out to schools across Eswatini, tackling sensitive issues with respect.
Chair of Trustees
Chris is a qualified chartered surveyor and has been involved in the commercial real estate industry for nearly 30 years building up property companies Salmon Developments/ Salmon Harvester and Cube Real Estate. He is a founding director and shareholder of Silversurfers.com an on line portal for the over 50s and Chairman/ Director of 5 other companies all involved in the real estate sector.
Chris is a keen follower of most sports but particularly rugby, has been a debenture holder at Twickenham for over 20 years and been on 4 British and Irish Lions tours. Chris is involved with the David Sheperd Wildlife Foundation and his wife Sharon runs the Oliver Foundation which operates mostly in South Africa.
Chris became involved with SKRUM when his eldest son Callum volunteered, returning to Eswatini on 2 further occasions, the last being for 6 months.
Treasurer | Trustee
Rodney trained as an engineer and moved into human resources where he worked for 50 years ending his career as Vice President of Human Resources for the European division of a large multi-national engineering company. He also carried out a number of assignments as a consultant working on start-up projects in Eastern Europe.
Rodney is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development. He has been a trustee of SKRUM since 2011 and past voluntary work has included Chairman of 41 Club and Round Table and a Rotarian.
Rodney is a keen supporter of rugby and committed to using the ethos of sport to further enhance the lives of youngsters in Eswatini.
Jill worked as a PA for the MD of Booker Agriculture International specialising in international consultancy, in particular building sugar estates overseas, before having her 5 children.
More recently, she started up Volunteer Vacations and sends volunteers abroad to engage in sports coaching, teaching and conservation and is finding that these placements do not just appeal to the Gap Market but to older volunteers as well.
She visited Eswatini some 5 years ago, and has been sending volunteer sports coaches to SKRUM ever since. Jill was the Music Director for the Albury Music Festival for 8 years and is also a keen supporter of the local amateur dramatics, the Peaslake Players. Jill loves languages, she speaks fluent Portuguese, French and is learning Italian.
After completing his degree in Anthropology and Sociology Nigel trained as a Social Worker, working in mental health and child protection.
He moved to the private sector as a consultant for numerous organisations and government departments both in the UK as well as abroad.
He was the National Advisor on Mental Health for the Open University and recently took an MA in War and Psychiatry before being elected an Associate Member of Kings London.
Nigel has always been a supporter of charitable work and has been a Trustee of SKRUM for a number of years. Due to the nature of his work Nigel travels widely, spending time in Africa and the Middle East.
Tristan followed his true passion, rugby, into the professional world of PE teaching and rugby coaching after gaining a BEd in PE from the college of St Mark and St John.
He has taught at a rural comprehensive school ever since taking on a multitude of roles including his current position as Assistant Principal. Over the last 15 years he has introduced sports tours into the school and is now working on the school’s first charity tour to Eswatini with SKRUM.
Tristan became a SKRUM trustee in the Summer of 2017 and is looking forward to introducing the charity to other state schools and offering these students the opportunity to travel whilst working with the charity.
Chris spent thirty-seven years in retail management for major national companies before taking a significant change of direction to work in the voluntary sector within community development. He set up and runs two charities that support the most deprived in the local community, working on issues of poverty, inequality and injustice.
Chris became involved in his local rugby club through his son, is currently the MD and has spent over twenty years as chairman of the youth and senior club, bringing his commercial and management skills to a local setting.
In 2018 Chris became involved in a fundraising visit to Eswatini, experiencing first-hand SKRUM’s work, which lead to his appointment as a trustee. Chris’s experience will help SKRUM connect commercially and build on their support from rugby clubs.