17 Jul 2018

Staff from international NGO “PeacePlayers” were in Hong Kong last week to run a training course with the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s Community Foundation (HKRUCF).


PeacePlayers use sport to unite, educate and inspire young people in divided and underserved communities worldwide.  They maintain permanent programs in South Africa, Northern Ireland, the West Bank, Cyprus and the US that have collectively served over 75,000 young people to date, using the power of sport to bridge divides, develop leaders and change perceptions.


In Hong Kong PeacePlayers have come together with HKRU CF to work on a new initiative for schools entitled “Bridging Divides with EY’. The Foundation uses rugby as a medium to help address challenges in society in the areas of health, education, disability, social inclusion and youth crime, and this new collaboration will focus on building understanding and friendship between youngsters from Chinese and ethnic minority backgrounds, and also between Hong Kong and Mainland youth.


Joining the training were teachers from a number of the schools who have already committed to this exciting concept, which works on a model of “twinning schools”. In the coming year pairings will see La Salle College with Sir Ellis Kadoorie School, Fat Ho Buddhist Memorial School with YMCA Christian College, and Ng Yuk School with Songgang Experimental School 深圳松岗实验学校 from Shenzen.


“We are very excited about the “Bridging Divides” programme,” explained Stuart Gunn from the HKRU CF. “Breaking down barriers and fostering friendship between young people we see as something we should be striving towards, and sport is the perfect tool to work with - it’s a universal language that youngsters will relate to. We are delighted to be partnering with PeacePlayers, who have an impressive track record of success in some of the most challenging environments imaginable, and we are extremely grateful to EY who are generously sponsoring this programme.”


“It has been a pleasure working with all the coaches and staff from HKRU CF,” said Joanne Fitzpatrick from PeacePlayers. After being here in April and seeing the evolution of the “Bridging Divides” programme it is evident that everyone is very excited to unite young people through sport and are well equipped to do so. We hope that we have helped play a small role in the future success of the programme. We have learned a lot from our partners at HKRU CF and are excited to bring back some of our learnings to our year-round programmes. Thank you to Robbie McRobbie, Stuart Gunn and all of those who helped make this partnership a reality!”