Young players' high hopes for Sevens heaven

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 1997, 12:00am

As most people who attend the Hong Kong Rugby Union Sevens are aware, one of the highlights is watching the territory's youngsters play before the main event.

This is complemented by the 'walk-past' on the Sunday when the kids join up with the players, officials and crowd in a truly party-like atmosphere. This experience is one that will never be forgotten, as I know from my own children's delight in recounting these stories over and over again.

I must also admit to my own personal excitement in being part of this fun occasion, which more than compensates for the many hours we coaches spend trying to explain the laws of the game in two or three languages.

However, I have a plea to the organisers and Hong Kong Mini-Rugby Football Union. Why can't the Under-7 Juniors be included in this special occasion? We are told on one hand that this age group is not officially recognised, yet week in and week out they are involved in tournaments and spend countless hours trying to learn the basics of this fine game.

On the other hand, we are told that due to 'commercial' and time constraints regarding television we should be thankful that at least other age groups are able to play.

These children are the life-blood and future of the game. They fully understand that only seven or eight can play but cannot understand why they should be penalised when they see their brothers and sisters, cousins and friends preparing for such a special day.

Would someone please explain why this should be so? I would kindly invite whoever is responsible for this decision to visit our mini-rugby club and tell these children first-hand! PETER SIMMS Coach, U7 Juniors Flying Kukris Mini-Rugby