Rugby brothers out to tackle HIV and AIDS

PUBLISHED: 16:25 19 June 2015

Brothers Will (standing) and Tom will be volunteering in Swaziland this summer

Brothers Will (standing) and Tom will be volunteering in Swaziland this summer


Two brothers from Sidmouth will use their love of rugby to help tackle HIV and AIDS when they embark on the trip of a lifetime to Swaziland.

Tom and Will Counsell will be flying out to the southern African nation this summer with charity SKRUM, an organisation which utilises sport to help promote sexual health.

During their four-week holiday with a difference, the pair, who live in Coburg Road, will use their rugby skills to coach school-age children, while others from the charity provide sex education advice.

Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world’s highest known rate of HIV and AIDS infection – with 42 per cent of the nation’s population suffering from the illnesses.

Will, 16, said he was extremely excited to embark on the trip so he could experience how people of a different culture lived their lives.

He said: “I am also keen to pass on my love of rugby to others out there who will hopefully share the same passion.

“I can’t wait to give back to the less-fortunate and I am in no doubt it will be a life-changing experience.”

Tom, 17, added: “I hope to learn new things about their culture and how they live their life, while at the same time try to pass on some of my knowledge, both on rugby and health.

“I really can’t wait for this amazing opportunity.”

The brothers, who attend Exeter School, play in school’s rugby first team - and regularly play for the Exeter Chiefs’ Academy.

As part of their trip, they are fundraising for SKRUM’s ‘buy a brick’ campaign, which is collecting money to build a new headquarters for the charity. To donate online, visit

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