07 Sep 2015

While most of us were busy relaxing on a sun-drenched beach sipping piña coladas, our hard-working clubs have been busy spreading the rugby-word around the region and even further afield! Let's see what they've been up's the off-season wrap!

We've already reported on Valley's momentous trip to London as part of the club's 40th anniversary celebrations, but also in UK around the same time was Abacus Kowloon's Mark McMillan, leading a party of 16 local Hong Kong rugby players from a variety of backgrounds who travelled to Mount St Mary’s College in Sheffield to go on a summer camp with coaches from the Natal Sharks Academy. This incredible adventure was funded by Kowloon's "Tony Ho Scholarship Fund", set up by Loon stalwarts Clive Hammond and Anson Bailey in memory of the popular and talented Kowloon player and Under 20 international in the wake of his tragic murder. Mount St Mary's was Tony's old school, and their support was instrumental in making this project possible, along with another old friend of Kowloon, ex-England and Lions legend John Bentley. "Bentos" is now Business Development Manager at Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Club, and he kindly arranged for the Hong Kong youngsters to pay a visit to the legendary Headingley ground during their stay, where they watched Yorkshire Carnegie take on Romania.

Speaking about the trip McMillan said: “The players who attended the camp are aged between 14 and 18 and would not have otherwise been able to afford such a trip. By doing this we not only giving back to the local rugby community in Kowloon but also giving some of the next generation on Hong Kong internationals an experience they won't forget. It was a fantastic trip and one which I hope we will be able to do again in the future.”

Meanwhile closer to home, Kowloon's King's Park neighbours Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers found time at the end of August to pop over to Sandakan in Malaysia and win the Asia Rugby Sabah Governor's Cup, the unofficial club championship of East Asia. The Tigers defeated Iskander Raiders 44-18 in the semi-finals before going on to win the final against Sabah Eagles 24-20 - Asia Rugby is keen to make this an annual tournament, and no doubt the Tigers will be keen to return and defend their hard-won title next year!

And finally to Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish, who had a few rather special guests join them at last Saturday's "Hong Kong Scottish Day" event...along with over 80 youngsters from three local charity groups SoCo, Po Leung Kuk and The HUB who enjoyed a morning of sporting fun followed by lunch, there were also 3 Indian models enjoying their first experience of rugby, and most likely bagpipes. The models were being filmed for a popular Indian reality TV show called "Life Mein EK Baar", or Once in a Life Time, and we're sure that a day with the Hong Kong Jocks will be something that they remember for a long time to come...