Program introduces rugby to hundreds of youngsters ahead of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens



[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap1′]H[/bra_dropcaps]ONG KONG – (March 26, 2014) – HSBC Rugby Festivals LogoThe Hong Kong stop of the HSBC Rugby Festivals powered by Serevi will take place this week through a series of coaching clinics ahead of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. Led by Waisale Serevi, the greatest ever rugby sevens player and fellow legends, England’s Ben Gollings and Santiago Gomez Cora from Argentina, hundreds of local kids and young adults in five sessions will benefit from HSBC’s new international grassroots rugby programme.
The HSBC-sponsored two-year initiative, which was launched last month, kicked off in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and will move onto New York and Sydney later in the year. All participants this week will learn rugby skills, first-hand, from Serevi, Gollings and Gomez and it is the aim of the programme to introduce thousands of children to the sport in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games, when rugby sevens will make its debut.
[bra_blockquote align=”]I have never played rugby before but have watched it online. I find it exciting to watch so am really happy I will get the chance to try it out at the HSBC Rugby Festival today. I am looking forward to learning about this team sport on the pitch with other kids who are here today.”
Kwok Hei Wun – 8 year old finalist of the HKRFU-organised and HSBC-sponsored ‘Support Hong Kong Team’ Drawing Competition[/bra_blockquote]
HSBC is a long term sponsor of rugby at all levels around the world, and the new partnership with Serevi Rugby will target children who have not previously played rugby. The programme also has a Coach Education element which will see hundreds of adults earn their IRB Level One coaching qualification enabling them to continue to work with the youngsters in their communities.
[bra_blockquote align=”]This is a special week for Hong Kong as the Hong Kong Sevens, of which we are a co-title sponsor, is just a few days away. Kids and adults alike are excited about the rugby and it is great to see so many local children participate in these Serevi led coaching sessions to learn to play the sport. HSBC has supported rugby for a long time and help growing it as we countdown to Rio 2016 is a key aim of our investment in rugby globally.”
Giles Morgan – Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, HSBC[/bra_blockquote]
Serevi, who retired from international rugby in 2009, set up his own academy – Serevi Rugby – the following year in Seattle, USA, and through the partnership with HSBC, will spread the word of rugby far and wide to developing rugby nations in the world, an objective the bank passionately shares.
[bra_blockquote align=”]I am a huge fan of my sport and this is why I am still so involved. After a 21-year international career that took me to every corner of the globe, it is time for me to give back to the game that has given me so much. Through the partnership with HSBC, I have no doubt this goal can be achieved in the not-too-distant future and I am grateful to the bank for this opportunity. Rugby is a wonderful sport, which has a great set of values in respect, sportsmanship. Fair play, courage, integrity and team work. It unites generations, defies gender and race and spans the world and I am thankful HSBC is working with me to develop rugby.”
Waisale Serevi – Co-Founder, Serevi Rugby[/bra_blockquote]

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