26 Jul 2021

At the upcoming HKRU AGM Fred Au will step down from his position as Director General I with the grateful thanks of the membership after serving the maximum 6 years on the Board.


Prior to joining the Board, Fred was already a well-known figure in the rugby community as both a player and Chairman of City Rugby Club, and throughout his tenure he has continued to champion local development.


“My motivation to stand for election was very simply to share and promote rugby and its spirit and values to the wider Hong Kong community”, reflects Fred, and when pushed to choose his favourite memories and achievements he has no hesitation in highlighting having Rugby 7s included in the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Hong Kong Games, explaining that this was a pivot point for the community to recognise rugby as a mainstream local sport.

Fred believes that the Union has made great strides in the promotion of rugby but is quick to note that retaining participation levels in the post-pandemic era will be a challenge, particularly when underpinned by the impact of Covid on the Union’s flagship event – he stresses that innovation for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will become more important than ever.


When asked if he would encourage others to stand for the Board, Fred is quick to affirm; “For sure! Our rugby community is very diverse and inclusive, and we need people from different backgrounds to contribute and drive the Union forward.”


And what advice he would give his successor? “One of the benefits of the Director General position is that there is no portfolio to restrict the role, so go into it with an open mind.  The world is changing so fast right now, we need to be able to think out of the box to adapt to the evolving new norms.”


Looking forward, with no more Hong Kong and Asia Rugby affairs to occupy him, Fred is looking forward to spending more time on his new hobby – running. His short-term goal is to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours by the end of 2022, and longer term do a full marathon in 4 ½ hours and complete a 100km trail race. Good luck, Fred!


His final reflections on what has been an eventful but rewarding 6 years … “I’d like to extend my thanks to Ruth Mitchell and Trevor Gregory who encouraged me to stand in the first place, to Pieter Schats and Paddy Donovan for their strong leadership and to all the Board members and Union staff I had the opportunity to work with – it has been an honour and a pleasure.”


Wishing you all the very best in your next endeavours Fred. Many thanks for such wonderful service to our rugby community.