10 Mar 2017

Last Saturday over 350 youngsters enjoyed a day of fun in the sun as the 4th Po Leung Kuk Inter-Primary Schools Touch Tournament was held in Tin Shui Wai, with 35 teams from 11 schools participating. These are some of the total of 20 schools who have joined the HKRU Community Foundation's "Tackling Life" rugby programme, which uses sport as a medium to encourage the students not only to adopt a healthy lifestyle but also to adopt positive values such as respect, teamwork, honesty and friendship.

Since the initiative was first launched thousands of boys and girls from Hong Kong's largest educational charity have been offered the opportunity to play touch rugby, and this has been thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Hong Kong Corporate 7s Tournament and its associated corporate supporters Savills, Macquarie Bank and KPMG. In addition, funds from the annual charity Rugby Ball held at the HKCEC also assist the HKRU Community Foundation staff to run summer courses with youngsters from the PLK residential care centres, as well as providing life-changing scholarships for older Kuk students.

The latest exciting chapter in the PLK rugby book has now been revealed, with Saturday's tournament being used as a selection to choose a combined team to travel to China in May and take part in a youth touch competition with sides from Beijing, Shenyang, Shandong, and Guangzhou. Whilst the Po Leung Kuk does boast an orchestra drawn from all its many schools, this will be the first time that a joint affiliated schools sports team has been formed, and it is hoped it can become a permanent fixture.

The players chosen will start their training later this month under the expert guidance of Head Coach Paul Chung, himself a teacher from Siu Hon Sum Primary School and former Hong Kong national team rugby player. As well as putting in a good performance on the pitch in Beijing, the aim is for the boys and girls chosen to have a chance to build new friendships both amongst themselves and with the Mainland youngsters, through cultural exchange and of course a mutual love!

"We are all very excited about the joint team, probably as much as the kids themselves!" explained HKRU Coach Phoebe Chan who oversees the Tackling Life programme. "Each year the skill level of the players goes up, and we're interested to see how we'll get on against the Mainland schools. We are very grateful to all our sponsors who have made this initiative possible, and I'm sure it will be a memorable first PLK rugby tour for all those lucky enough to make the team."

You can help the work of the Po Leung Kuk and the HKRU Community Foundation by supporting this year's charity "Rugby Ball" on Saturday 11th November.