11 May 2017

The Hong Kong Rugby Union is pleased to announce that it has named Laureus Sport for Good, a leading global sports-based charity that works to improve the lives of young people, as the official charity partner of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens [2018].

It is the first time that the HKRU have appointed an official charity for the renowned Hong Kong Sevens, which marked its 42nd year in April.

Laureus Sport for Good, as the official charity partner of the 2018 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will work closely with the event to raise funds for a variety of causes.

The funds raised will be split with half of the total proceeds dedicated for funding Laureus-supported projects within Hong Kong, furthering the HKRU’s aim of harnessing the platform of the Sevens for the benefit of local society, whilst the remainder will be made available for applications from charities around Asia.

Proceeds will also be earmarked for Operation Breakthrough, a police led charity that uses sport – including a highly successful rugby programme, as a means to help, rehabilitate and positively reinforce young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or families: helping to fight crime and juvenile delinquency amongst low income and immigrant communities.

Operation Breakthough attracted the early support of both the Hong Kong Rugby Union and Laureus and in celebration of its 20th anniversary in 2016, the incoming administration of new Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Honourable Carrie Lam, has donated $1 million to the programme.

“Community engagement has always been a key part of the Sevens, and the financial success of the event has allowed the HKRU to invest more than HK$100 million in developing and upgrading community sports facilities over the past decade alone.

“The Hong Kong Rugby Union and its Community Foundation continues to lead the way in using sport as a medium to tackle social problems and effect change, focusing on the areas of Social Inclusion, Health, Disability, Education and Youth Crime.

“Partnering with Laureus expands our capacity to reach and change the lives of thousands more youngsters both in Hong Kong and around Asia,” said Robbie McRobbie, CEO of HKRU.

Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “The Hong Kong Sevens is the flagship tournament on the rugby sevens circuit and one of Asia’s leading sporting events. This new and exciting partnership will enable Laureus-supported programmes throughout the region to continue working towards their goal of using sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage.”

Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.

Laureus currently supports 18 organisations in 12 Asian countries and is currently sourcing potential programme partners within the region, with the help of local partners including the HKRU, to build a strong strategy for the region in order to impact more young people through sport.

Since the early 2000s, the Hong Kong Rugby Union has worked increasingly closely with Laureus.

Laureus Academy Members who have conducted project visits to Hong Kong have included Edwin Moses, Mark Spitz, Morne du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Daley Thompson, LI Xiaopeng, Marvin Hagler, Sir Steve Redgrave and Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, Sean Fitzpatrick.

This year saw the HKRU Community Foundation team up with Laureus to stage several community activities during the week of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, under the theme of ‘Tackling Barriers through Sport’ – focusing on inclusivity, social cohesion and overcoming adversity.

That engagement culminated in a press briefing during the Hong Kong Sevens at Olympic House when Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government, announced that Laureus were committing to a presence in Hong Kong in the next 12 months.

The partnership with Laureus Sport for Good also reflects the HKRU’s leading role in using sport as a means for effecting positive social change in Hong Kong and its continuing drive, with the strong support of the Hong Kong Government, to make the city a regional “sport-for-change” hub.