ROCKETING FROM A MINI CLUB TO A LOCAL RUGBY POWERHOUSE: TAIPO DRAGON RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

An interview with Kellogg Ngai, Chairman of Taipo Dragon

14 Oct 2020


What’s the story behind the Taipo Dragon logo?

 

Taipo Dragon’s (“TPD”) current logo was designed by our veteran player and former team captain, Michael Yiu, in 2012.


It’s self-explanatory that our club’s logo is an icon of a Dragon, in relation to our club’s name.  In the early years (1990s), TPD was a mini-rugby club based in Taipo District formed of ethnic Chinese children from families residing in Taipo and New Territories East.  For an All ethnic Chinese team, “Dragon” was the obvious choice.

Our club’s logo is in Green colour (“TPD GREEN”).

 

Why TPD picked Green as our team colour?  When TPD’s Men’s team was first established in 1998, TPD was struggling in finding financial support, TPD then received our first ever non-pecuniary sponsorship, in the form of a full set of “Kangaroo Pub” (a famous Australian Pub in Tsim Sha Tsui back then) jerseys in Green with yellow horizontal bands around the chest. Since then, Green became our quasi club’s colour.

 

Our club founders and long-time title sponsor are all fond of the colour of Green, consequently, we reached the consensus with our members to use TPD GREEN as our club’s official colour for the past 10 years.

 

Can you give us a brief history of Taipo Dragon?

 

Taipo Dragon was established in 1993 as a mini-rugby club, aimed to promote rugby to the children of Taipo District and its neighbouring regions, in the New Territories. TPD was founded by a few rugby players and coaches returning from Australia, Taiwan, and Canada, with the assistance of a group of local parents in Taipo.   

In 1999, TPD Men’s team played its first ever league game in HKRU Division 5.

                                                                                                                                                     

In 2002, Taipo Dragon Ladies (“TPD Ladies”) was established, aiming to compete in the women's National League as a newcomer.  After facing some difficulties in recruiting enough players to form a full team, TPD Ladies teamed up with HKFC as a joint team for three seasons.  Through 2012-13, TPD Ladies successfully filled a full team on its own competing in the Women’s 10s League and eventually winning the Championship.             


What differentiates Taipo Dragon from other rugby clubs in Hong Kong?

 

In the past 10 years, TPD sent 3 to 4 teams (Men’s and Women’s) competing in the HKRU leagues annually. TPD were perhaps not the favourites, but through great efforts in recruitment, development and grooming of new players from the local community, TPD were eventually able to provide an alternative pool of tenants to Hong Kong rugby.

 

Over the years, TPD positioned itself as a local, grassroot, development club promoting rugby to Hong Kongers in different districts, in different sectors of the society.

 

Over 85% of TPD players are homegrown, most of them recruited from training courses, fitness classes, touch rugby courses for corporates, local secondary schools, and tertiary institutions.


TPD is the only rugby club in Hong Kong to hold weekly training in New Territories East (Taipo Kwong Fuk Park).

 

TPD club’s motto? “Work hard in silence, let success made the noise.”



What are Taipo Dragon’s greatest achievements?

 

The 2008-09 season was the most successful season in the history of TPD.  TPD won the quadruple of trophies, as follows:

 

Champion of Men’s Division 6 (7s)

Champion of Men’s Division 6 (10s)

Champion of Men’s Division 6 (15s)

Champion of Men’s Division 5B (15s)

 


What are your most memorable moments on and off the pitch?

 

The most memorable win:

TPD Ladies made a comeback from 0-19 down at half time, eventually beating HKFC Ice 25-19 on 24th February 2018, at Hong Kong Football Club.

After winning this match, TPD Ladies secured their last semi-final spot in the Women’s Premiership Grand Championships in the season of 2017-18.

 

This is probably the biggest upset in Women’s Rugby history in Hong Kong!

 

For the Men’s team, the most memorable moment has to be our team’s 7-day tour to Qingdao, China in Summer 2001.  TPD Men’s team played 7 days of rugby against teams from various regions in China.

 

Can you introduce to us some key personnel of Taipo Dragon over the decades?

 

- Kwong Sau Yan, Ivy, the Icon and all-time Captain of TPD Ladies, Hong Kong Women’s National Sevens and Women’s National 15s Representative.

 

Ivy has gained over 30 international caps since 2012.


 

- Chan Tsz Ching, Agnes, Hong Kong Women’s National Sevens and Women’s National 15s Representative, Since 2016.

 

Agnes represented Hong Kong in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in 2017.

 

- Leung Wing Yi, Vincci, Hong Kong Women’s National 15s Representative, since 2018.

 

- Wong Chun Hei, Hong Kong Men’s U19 representative, since 2015.

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