22 Jun 2020

Players in Hong Kong’s Elite Rugby Program are back to training following six weeks of keeping fit from home, but a number of players kept themselves busy beyond rugby during the time away from the training track.


One was long-serving Hong Kong team member Salom Yiu who has spent the past few weeks setting up a Hong Kong-made antibacterial brand to help people stay safe from Covid-19.


The 32-year-old started the business in May after meeting members of a research team from the University of Manchester who shared his passion for producing disinfectants.


Although his primary focus continues to be rugby, Yiu said he’s enjoying trying his hand as an entrepreneur and is particularly focused on helping local sports facilities return to operation safely.

“I’m still involved in sport and I still have dreams as a sportsman but it’s also time to start preparing for life after sport,” Yiu told the South China Morning Post in an interview about his new venture.

“I always wanted to start my own business and I was also concerned that Hong Kong had been hard hit by Covid-19 over the last six months. Everyone is looking for disinfectant products for protection [against the virus] but there are not many anti-epidemic products in the market until recently and most of them are imported and are expensive.

“As an athlete myself, I know the needs of a sports person. We always worry about [hygiene] conditions at venues and equipment because once we are infected by the virus, it will definitely affect our careers in a bad way.

“Our disinfectant products can help a lot. We use silver ions technology to kill the virus and we are already in discussion with a number of sport teams to help them sterilise their facilities and equipment.”

Yiu, who helped Hong Kong win the Asian Games team gold medal in Jakarta two years ago, is hopeful the health situation will continue to improve and the Hong Kong team will have the opportunity to return to competition soon.

“I still train as hard as I used to in order to do my best for Hong Kong. I only conduct my business in my free time and therefore it doesn’t affect my training or competitions. I have been in the Hong Kong team for 10 years and it’s rational to think about life after sport. The disinfectant product is a great start as it can help the people of Hong Kong at this critical time.”

While Hong Kong’s elite rugby players are back in training, ongoing restrictions on group sizes and activities has seen the sessions take place in four distinct ‘bubbles.’ 


Each bubble has an assigned coach and a three hour window to complete their respective weights, skills and physio-led exercises before the next group arrives and the process repeats, but not before every ball, gym bench and yoga mat is cleaned thoroughly.


The bubble training, which has been adopted by other sports across the globe, allows for social distancing to be maintained and also aims to mitigate any cross-contamination across the entire training squad. 


Players are working hard to regain – and in many cases exceed – the strength levels boasted pre-lockdown as well as rebuilding their respective running loads.


A couple of weeks remain of the current ‘bubble’ training phase with players then taking a short break before pre-season begins in earnest.