Mini rugby festivals are a great speciality of the Hong Kong rugby community. The 19 mini rugby clubs scattered throughout the territory have distinctive characters which seasoned observers can identify including the wonderful family support of Causeway Bay Monkey Club, the sublime evasive ball handling skills of Tai Po and the always excellently drilled and spirited contribution of Valley. The clubs come together in about 6 major festivals to practise the skills they have learnt in the training session against friends from other clubs.
On 26 November 2017 more than 3,500 mini rugby players and their supporters, probably 10,000 people in total, came together for the festival hosted by HKCC’s Mini Rugby Feeder Club, HKU Sandy Bay at the magnificent Stanley Ho Sports Centre. It was a great day of entertainment with mini rugby players between ages 4 to 12, as well as people enjoying alfresco shopping, for all sorts of Christmas presents and useful sports kit from Turkish Towels to Ozzie Cozzies.
We welcomed our international guests the Macau Bats and two wonderful teams from Singapore, Centaurs and Tanglin again who sent strong contingents to test the Hong Kong teams with true tropical rugby skills.
Father Christmas joined us from even further afield and went on a breakneck ride to ensure that the season was properly celebrated and that sugar levels were maintained.
Our own version of bouncy castles were nearly as enticing as the high quality sport and the spirits of parents were kept high by the Hong Kong Sea School marching band and the excellent efforts of our caterers, Shamrock.
Thanks to members of the HKU Sandy Bay rugby community who volunteered to assist as pitch monitors, referees, first aiders and to do all of the things that make a great amateur led event. Our thanks also to the 35 or so staff from the Stanley Ho Sports Centre without whose professionalism and commitment on the festival day we could not make happen.
Thanks finally to our festival sponsor Ricardo and all of the sponsors who provide the wherewithal for this and to the parents who put in time during each season to coach, encourage and prepare our young players.
We welcome new players in all age groups throughout the season and will ensure that your children have fun, learn good core physical skills appropriate for many sports including rugby and start to understand the core World Rugby values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.
See you at HKU Sandy Bay next year!
Photo credits: http://www.cherrywongphoto.com/