Since its inception, the sport of rugby has imparted on its young players the values of discipline, responsibility, passion and teamwork.
The Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation, supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is proud to sponsor two key projects – Jockey Club All About Rugby Programme and Jockey Club Rugby United Project – with a variety of programs promoting leadership, empowerment, and respect - making a positive impact in our communities. These programs range from women-focused initiatives to professional training for coaches and much more.
After an action-packed summer, our events calendar has kept us busy engaging with a growing number of active participants, which promote the sport and healthy lifestyles. For example, The Jockey Club All About Rugby programme - Try It Out transitions players from non-contact to contact rugby in a safe and progressive manner, beginning with warmup activities to improve locomotion, stability, and manipulation - enhancing fundamental movement skills through progressive practice and games.
The Jockey Club All About Rugby programme - Discover Rugby programme engages adolescent girls aged 14 to 18, introducing them to the benefits of an active healthy lifestyle through a series of workshops and talks, with the opportunity to continue their rugby journey at their local rugby clubs the following year.
Building intergenerational ties through sport
The Jockey Club All About Rugby Programme - Mothers in Rugby Festival targets mothers of young players - who are key decision-makers in their children's lives - to retain more players in the sport, leading to healthier and more active lifestyles. The festival allows mothers to partner with their children to participate in a series of challenges and activities together. They will also get to take part and experience a “rugby training session” together. The rugby training session and challenge/activities stations will be led by members of the Senior Women’s National team. This allows for prime interaction opportunities between youth players and their role models who represent Hong Kong in rugby.
The latest program was held on 20th August in Happy Valley, and was attended by 110 mother-and-child pairs.
The Jockey Club Rugby United Project targets secondary school students from a wide range of academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, teaching them the values of teamwork, respect, positive thinking, determination, leadership, and diversity. Students are given regular after-school training capped with a Fun Day. In August 2022, two Rugby United Fun Days were organized in Tin Shui Wai and Ho Man Tin, bringing 200 students from 10 different schools together for games, skills training and a friendly touch rugby tournament. The Project continues this year and is being offered in 21 secondary schools.
Growing community spirit in schools
The Jockey Club All About Rugby programme - Rugby Spirit programme trains nearly 8,000 students and counting across 124 primary and secondary schools. Participating students build mental and physical wellbeing both on and off the field, with two trial sessions and 24 regular training sessions throughout the academic year as part of a competitive school team. Students who continue the program from primary to secondary school are guided towards joining the Hong Kong Rugby Union athletes program.
In August 2022, a Rugby Spirit summer course was held at Kings Park Sports Ground with local education charity IBEL (Integrated Brilliant Education Ltd.) for around 100 students from ethnic minority backgrounds.
The Jockey Club All about Rugby programme - Discover Rugby programme delivered six themed workshops, through non-contact rugby experience sessions throughout the school year. Workshops focus on key themes such as confidence, bravery, resilience, and grit, as well as body image & self-esteem, school/life/sport balance, and menstruation and sports and life pressures for teenage girls. A close collaboration with each school ensures sessions are fit for purpose for the schools. From May to July 2022, 36 Discover Rugby training sessions engaged 350 girls from 6 schools.
The Jockey Club All about Rugby programme - Rugby Magic programme is a fifteen-a-side rugby program with a focus on delivering core life values through play, with a rule that coaches give every player who shows up the chance to play at least 50% of the game time during the match day component. In June, seven Rugby Magic sessions were held at King’s Park catering to around 200 students aged 12-18.
The Jockey Club All about Rugby programme - Rugby Rules program provides opportunities for women and girls involved with either Senior, Youth, Minis, Tertiary, Touch and School rugby clubs into coaching or match officiating roles, delivering content centered around Leadership training.
Six different Rugby Rules activities were held between July to August at KGV and Kings’ Park, offering Level 1 and Level 2 coaching courses for 30 participants, as well as courses for Match officials and Touch Match Officials for 40 aspiring referees. Workshops included special guests such as senior referees and experienced psychologists, who talked about dealing with pressure and building confidence.
By nurturing community spirit, working towards greater inclusion for underrepresented groups and increasing participation and engagement in the game, these programs build character and life skills that go beyond the pitch - which players will carry with them through the rest of their lives.