French rugby player, entrepreneur and Champions For Peace charity campaigner, Serge Betsen was named France’s International Player of the Year.
Born in Cameroon, Serge moved to France at the age of 9, and soon discovered a love of, and talent for rugby. At the Biarritz Olympique club, he secured his first cap with France in 1997 against Italy, and in 2000 he took part in the first 6 Nations tournament.
Nicknamed ‘The Grim Reaper’ or ‘Shears’, because of his famous tackles and fast starts, he is considered to be the best tackler in the world by many rugby experts and is lauded and respected by his teammates and opponents.
Serge was voted best player of the French Championship in 2002 by l’Oscar Midi Olympique, in 2004, and was nominated by the IRB for the title of Best World player.
In May 2008, after retiring from the international game, he signed with London Wasps and was captain for two seasons.
Serge set up the Serge Betsen Academy in 2004 to help under privileged children in his native Cameroon. The charity uses the teaching of rugby as a vehicle for social integration and for access to education for hundreds of under privileged children in Yaounde and its suburbs.
Serge Betsen is an active member of the ‘Champions For Peace’ club, a group of 54 elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Monaco-based organisation Peace and Sport.
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Copyright Speakers Corner 2014