Winds of change die down at HKRFU
CONFORMITY won the day at the 38th annual general meeting of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union yesterday when members refused to ring in drastic changes like opening the doors of the all-male domain to a woman, or picking a new chairman.
Stuart Leckie, HKRFU chairman for the past two seasons, won another two-year term last night, when he beat a strong challenge from Jamie Scott.
Although the ballot of the 18 members of the HKRFU was secret, it is understood that Leckie only narrowly managed to ward off a serious bid from Scott.
''There were a few anxious moments,'' conceded Leckie yesterday, after winning a second successive term at the helm.
''Obviously I'm disappointed. I set out to achieve two objectives. One was to become chairman, which I failed, and the other to see that the democratic process was upheld,'' said Scott.
''It is a healthy sign that the clubs have had a choice.'' Always dominated by men, the HKRFU's board of directors will remain an all-male body with Tania Mansfield falling short by one vote to become director of fixtures.
Mansfield, bidding to become the first woman to be elected an office-bearer of the Union, was beaten by former Hong Kong captain Morgan Chubb.
''It was close. I think there was only one vote between us,'' said Chubb.
A disappointed Mansfield said: ''I'm sad that the Union will not open its doors to a woman. I will however continue to work for the Union.'' Chubb said that Mansfield would be part of the fixtures sub-committee, and that he was looking forward to working with her.
For the first time in the history of the Union, the president had to cast his vote. Normally neutral, Union president Gerry Forsgate was obliged to vote when there was a tie for the position of director of laws and amateurism with contenders Gary Scarborough and Richard Hawkes winning nine votes each.
Scarborough won Forsgate's crucial vote.
The other directorate up for election yesterday - director of development - was won by former chairman Peter Duncan.
Four positions were returned uncontested. They were: director of finance (David Bruce); director of coaching (Bryan Hain); director of players' liaison (Iain Valentine) and director of youth (Larry Abel).