'As good as ever'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2007, 12:00am

'It is still every bit as great an occasion as it always was. There have been a few changes of course: China playing Taiwan right before your very eyes. And on two of the four occasions the Rugby Sevens World Cup has been held, it happened right here.'

Mike Rowse, director-general,


'The Hong Kong Sevens has faced plenty of hurdles over the past 10 years, but to come through the way it has done says a lot about the tournament's resilience. It set the standard for sevens tournaments around the world and continues to be the premier event in the IRB Sevens series. This is the one all the teams want to win.'

Beth Coalter, IRB Sevens

tournament operations manager

'Nothing overshadows the Hong Kong Sevens - not even the handover. It remains the one event on the worldwide sporting calendar that guarantees each and everyone the ultimate in sporting entertainment. Sadly the only downside is the hangovers and that's also guaranteed. At Delaney's in Wan Chai we sell the entire volume of beer for a regular month over the three days of the Sevens. Be it the handover or the hangover, nothing stops the party that is the Hong Kong Sevens.'

Noel Smyth, managing director,

Delaney's Development Ltd

'It is business as usual for the Sevens. There were many sceptics who predicted the tournament would suffer after the handover. But to the amazement of all, the Sevens has gone from strength to strength. What is particularly gratifying is that the government and the community have accepted it as a Hong Kong event.'

Allan Zeman, chairman,

Lan Kwai Fong Holdings

'Over the years I have witnessed it change from the mud baths I remember at the Hong Kong Football Club to the ever more commercial 'bling' it possesses now. The HKRFU has done extremely well in developing the game and bringing it to the whole population, as opposed to a predominantly expat game.'

Fenella Ng Gar-loc,

Hong Kong Olympian

'The Sevens has even improved, if it was possible, since the handover. I think part of the reason is because it is part of the IRB Sevens series, and the fact that the IRB sees fit to give it extra points makes it clear that it is one of the top sporting events in the world. A lot of credit should go to the HKRFU for the excellent way it runs it.'

Con Conway, vice-president,

Hong Kong Olympic Committee

'I am happy to see that the Sevens has grown into one of Hong Kong's signature sports events.

As Hong Kong's home-grown world-class tournament, it also helps promote our image as Asia's World City, projecting Hong Kong's energetic and dynamic image to overseas countries. It also encourages local participation in sport, especially by students and young players.'

Patrick Ho Chi-ping,

Secretary for Home Affairs