On Saturday, December 16th at King George V School, Rugby for Good launched the Community Hub Active Wellbeing Initiative, a new program generously supported by Hongkong Land HOME FUND and sponsored by Project Futuremark, operated by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The initiative aims to empower underprivileged children and young individuals aged 10 to 16 by utilizing rugby as a means to provide them with essential life skills and facilitate their integration into the community.
The initiative creates a safe, structured, and positive learning environment that prioritizes the mental and physical wellbeing of young people. Participants will receive an age-specific curriculum that combines mental wellness and non-contact rugby. Rugby for Good will collaborate with community coaches to engage with the participants and deliver both sports and mental wellness outcomes. Additionally, a local community-based NGO partner in each district will support the delivery of sports and educational content.
The program also adopts a play-based learning approach that goes beyond rugby skills and incorporates social-emotional learning and mental health content. Through the Reflect-Connect-Apply (RCA) approach, participants will explore ten mental health topics, including understanding and managing emotions, self-talk, active listening, building support networks, and stress resilience.
This morning at KGV marked the beginning of the program, where 46 children and young individuals, and parents recruited by the GDCD Association Limited and the West Kowloon Parents Association experienced the joy of rugby through engaging clinics. From January to June, participants will undergo 20 rugby training sessions and participate in two community match days, providing an opportunity to apply their newfound skills against mini rugby club players. Some participating families will also have the opportunity to visit the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. Additionally, community and parent engagement events will bring together different community hubs, fostering integration into the wider rugby community.
Through the program, participants will develop social-emotional learning skills and place greater value on their mental and physical health. Parents will also gain a better understanding of how to support their children's whole person development. Positive social connections formed among participants, coaches, teammates, and others will foster a strong sense of community beyond the rugby field, ultimately creating a supportive community network that benefits all individuals involved.
Ms. Ho Wing KamHo, executive committee member of GDCD Association Limited, expressed her satisfaction with the active participation of the participants and welcomed over 40 families to join the program. ‘In an environment lacking in stress regulation and positive mental health, both primary and secondary school students often exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is particularly challenging for the underprivileged communities to access resources that promote physical and mental well-being. Rugby for Good's Community Hub Active Wellbeing Initiative focuses on the physical and mental health of underprivileged children and young people, gathering young individuals in need and providing them with opportunities to engage in extracurricular learning through sports. We look forward to the outcomes,’ Ho said.
During the program, 2 parent workshops will also be held, facilitated by the Kely Support Group, to deliver communication skills and empower parents or guardians of the participants to promote their children's mental health and holistic development, thus fostering harmonious family relationships. It is believed that the positive social connections formed among participants, coaches, teammates, and others will contribute to the cultivation of a stronger community awareness and the formation of a broader community network for mutual support.
Rocky Chow, Chief Community Officer of Rugby for Good said, ‘Through the Community Hub Active Wellbeing Initiative, we aim to use rugby as a medium to cultivate life skills for underprivileged children and adolescents and promote their integration into the community. We believe that the combination of sports and mental health will bring positive outcomes for them and contribute to their future development, enabling young people to thrive, flourish, and reach their full potential.’