31 Jul 2020

The Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) held its Annual General Meeting on the evening of 30 July at the South China Athletic Association in Causeway Bay.  It was a hotly contested affair with five of the ten Board of Director positions up for election.

Two of those positions were unopposed, returning Tony Karton for a full term as Director of Youth, while Nigel Hobler - who was appointed to the Board as Director of Finance to replace Patrick Donovan who was elected Chairman in 2019, also ran unopposed for a one-year term as Director of Finance.

The remaining three positions were contested by nine other impressive candidates in what was an encouraging sign for the game’s continued growth according to HKRU Chief Executive Robbie McRobbie.

“It was important that we get the AGM done and get the new board in place at this time. We have a board of ten and five positions were up for election, which is an unusually high number, and is partially down to the Director of Finance position vacancy.

“What has been a welcome surprise is the number of candidates who have put themselves forward, given the current challenges that rugby in general and the HKRU are facing at this moment.

“One might expect people to think twice before getting involved at this time, but the willingness of all of the candidates to engage bodes well for the future of Hong Kong Rugby. It has been a very competitive campaign and for all of the positions, the race was too close to call ahead of the vote,” Mr McRobbie added.

In the three openly contested positions, Rod Lai was elected as the incumbent Director of Community Rugby, replacing the outgoing John Carroll; Diana Li as one of two Director General positions replacing the long-serving Kim Lam; and Ben Stobart as the incoming Director of Coaching & Performance, succeeding Kevin Taylor in the role.

They join Chairman Patrick Donovan and current directors Karton, Hobler, Chris Brooke (Facilities), Peter Hudson (Laws and Referees), Fred Au (Director General) and Kim Kan (Director of Women’s Rugby) on the current Board with responsibility to help the HKRU navigate the complexities of sport in the time of coronavirus.

All of the elected Board members will serve three-year terms.

HKRU Chairman Patrick Donovan expressed his thanks to the departing Board members for their service: “I would like to express my personal thanks and that of the entire rugby community to Kevin Taylor, Kim Lam and John Carroll for their long-standing service to Hong Kong Rugby. Each of them has made a long-lasting imprint on the game and I look forward to their continued support.

“I would also like to congratulate and welcome our newest representatives on a Board that continues to reflect the amazing diversity of our rugby community. Despite the challenges facing global sport at this time, I am confident that with the support and enthusiasm of my fellow Board members and our capable executive staff, the game remains in good hands,” added Mr Donovan.