The Hong Kong Rugby Union and Rugby For Good are wishing farewell to players participating in the 2023 Deaf World 7s Tournament to be held in Cordoba, Argentina, between the 6 -9 of April.
With the last training session at King George V School this Monday, 3 female and 7 male players, are ready to set off on a rather big adventure today (30 March)
This tournament will mark the second appearance for Deaf Rugby players from Hong Kong, following their 2018 campaign in Sydney. This year, the team will join individual players to participate as Women's Barbarians and Men's Barbarians, competing in Women's and Men's Sevens tournaments, respectively.
This trip was only successful with the contributions from the community. Special thanks to Hong Kong, China 7s representatives Nam Ka Man and Chong Ka Yan for taking the time to provide on-field plus strength and condition support for the Deaf players, the collaborations with Onside Sports Solution for fundraising ideas, and of course, the kind support from the greater community through the fundraising campaign, which raised over HK$140,000 to date, the donation will go toward covering travel expenses for players participating at the tournament.
“I never cease to be inspired and humbled by the achievements of our Deaf Rugby players - they consistently demonstrate that no barrier is unsurmountable if you have commitment, determination, and passion. I know they will have an amazing tour of Argentina, and represent our city with pride. I am particularly delighted they had an opportunity to meet Jodie Ounsley who is deaf and plays for England, as I know what an inspiration she is to our community, and I join her in wishing our team bon voyage!”, said Mr. Robbie McRobbie, CEO of the Hong Kong Rugby Union.
The team was greeted by Jodie Ounsley, the first deaf female rugby player to have appeared for a senior England side, who has become an inspiration to many people in the deaf community.
“I was honoured to meet the deaf rugby players whilst I am here in Hong Kong for the 7s Tournament. It’s truly inspiring to see that nothing is holding them back from playing the sport that we all love. I wish them all the best in Argentina!” said Jodie.
Deaf Rugby is always one of the core programs within Rugby for Good, formerly Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation. Mr. Ben Harris, Chairman of Rugby for Good, pressed the honour to see the Hong Kong squad compete on the world stage.
“Our Deaf Rugby community in Hong Kong leads the way in showing how sport and dedication can combine to create wonderful experiences in sometimes difficult circumstances. We at Rugby for Good are very happy to be a small part of this journey. Best of luck to everyone involved. Play well and enjoy!”
It was also great to see Mr Henry Louie, Managing Director of Wilson Group, come down to King’s Park Sports Ground to see the opportunities that sport has provided to a deaf community.
“I wish the Deaf Rugby players every bit of success as they represent Hong Kong in their journey to the Deaf Rugby World Cup. We are proud to be involved with the Rugby for Good and HK Deaf Rugby Team and even more delighted that this opportunity has arisen for some of these committed and enthusiastic players to partake in this tour to Argentina.”, said Henry, wishing the team well and imploring them to enjoy the experience.
The first Barbarians’ action kicks off at 15:10 local time on 6 April vs Japan in the men’s tournament, with the women getting underway the next day, 7 April, at 15.20 vs England.
6 April 15.10 Japan vs Barbarians Men
6 April 16.30 Barbarians Men vs Fiji
6 April 17.10 Wales vs Barbarians Men
7 April 15.20 England vs Barbarians Women
7 April 17.00 Australia vs Barbarians Women
7 April 18.00 Wales vs Barbarians Women
Chan Kwun Sing Julian；Chan Tat Wai；Cheung Ka Tai；Chung Ho Ting；Li Wai Ming；Yeung Kwong Tik；Yoong Jing Hao William
Women’s squad : Cheng Pui Man ; Ng Hoi Yee ; Tsang Wing Tun