Jason Leonard, the former rugby world cup winner and president of England RFU officially launched Kings Rugby Development Academy, an initiative targeted at training 2500 children from Kibera with rugby skills and empowering them with life skills and education that will give them a track out of poverty and support early rugby talent development in Kenya.
“It’s a great joy to discover an initiative, that brings the Kenyan and British people together, that is not an initiative of the high commission. Beyond rugby, the program will teach essential life skills, to be stronger human beings,” said Nic Hailey the British high commissioner in Kenya who was present for the launch.
Kings Rugby Development Academy (KRDA) , a registered charity in Kenya, has been in operation in Kenya since May 2016 with the principal objective of providing children (5 years and below 16 years) from resource poor communities and disadvantaged background with opportunities to access, train and participate in the game of rugby, through MINITAG (non-contact) and rugby training . The rugby training program currently has 235 children from Kibera of whom 175 are boys and 60 are girls benefit from a weekly training held on Hillcrest International School grounds. The training is facilitated by 15 IRB World Rugby certified coaches and facilitators, drawn from various leading rugby clubs in Nairobi.
Speaking at the same function, the Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit termed the initiative as one that gives hope to the future, which greatly lies in children. Beyond sport, Kings Rugby Development Academy offers children spiritual nourishment, in collaboration with the Anglican church .
Currently Kings Rugby Development Academy has partnered with the Old Ruts (Rutlishians) RFC, associated with Rutlish School, Merton Borough of London and looks forward to partner more with the UK’s Rugby fraternity ; financially and in talent exchange programs, to identity and hone young rugby talent in Kenya.