Ollie Phillips tackles Springbok Sevens on ‘Road to Rio’ in Clipper Race

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Former England rugby sevens Captain Ollie Phillips took time out during the Clipper Race stopover in Cape Town this week to visit the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport where he met up with the Springbok Sevens national team as part of his global ‘Road to Rio’ campaign ahead of the sport’s debut in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Ollie is participating in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race while recovering from injury, but hopes to return to the national team. The 2009 IRB Player of the Year arrived in South Africa on board the GREAT Britain entry in first place. He is visiting national Sevens teams in the key ports visited by the race, having just raced from Rio where the Brazilian Sevens captain and Rio 2016 Organising Committee set up a skills session with local school Children.

In Stellenbosch Phillips had the opportunity to meet the Springbok Sevens team and invited them to sign an official Clipper Race jacket to help raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. Ollie completed his sail training with a group of young South Africans who are raising awareness and funds for the hospital project as they race around the world.

Phillips said: “I trained with the Sapinda Rainbow team before the Clipper Race and their boundless energy and enthusiasm  really inspired me; I know they will go on to inspire their friends, families and local communities when they return home. I’m really pleased that the Springbok sevens had the time to meet us.

“This just demonstrates the sort of reach we are achieving with the Clipper Race and how important the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund is, not just in South Africa but across Africa.”

The Sapinda Rainbow project has selected a ‘tag’ team of eight young people aged 18-23 from across South Africa to develop their personal and community leadership skills by each participating in a leg of the Clipper Race aboard the yacht Invest Africa.

Today (Saturday 2 November) has been designated Sapinda Rainbow Day at the Clipper Race village at North Wharf in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Following a morning sailing officials from the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Sapinda Group and the Clipper Race celebrated the young people’s achievements.

Race 4 in the 16 race series starts on Monday 4 November at 1430 local time (1230 UTC) destined for Albany in Western Australia.