Robbie McRobbie to take over as chief executive at Hong Kong Rugby Union
Tireless campaigner for rugby to succeed Vern Reid after 2017 Hong Kong Sevens
The Hong Kong Rugby Union on Wednesday announced the appointment of Robbie McRobbie as deputy chief executive officer and CEO designate.
McRobbie will assume the position on a permanent basis when incumbent Vern Reid completes his contract after the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens in 2017.
“I am deeply honoured to be given this tremendous opportunity and I look forward to working with the union board and our dedicated staff to continue the success of Hong Kong rugby,” McRobbie said.
“We have the greatest rugby community in the global game and it is a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility to be entrusted with the role of chief executive.”
Reid was engaged in 2013 with one of his key tasks to help identify and mentor a successor.
“I am pleased to confirm that our succession plan is in place and on target for a seamless transition. I am personally delighted for Robbie and even more so that this appointment was made on an internal basis, rewarding the long-working servants of the game from within our own community,” said chairman Pieter Schats.
“Vern has done an outstanding job during his tenure and still has some key goals to achieve, particularly around the implementation of the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s recently completed strategic plan.”
A well known face in local rugby and sporting circles, McRobbie has been employed by the HKRU since 2003, rising from the position of community rugby manager to his most recent post of general manager of rugby operations and commercial.
“Robbie was the standout candidate with his long service to the union and familiarity with local rugby and sports and government circles,” Reid said.
A graduate of Oxford University, McRobbie arrived in Hong Kong in 1992 as a member of the Royal Hong Kong Police. After serving 11 years as an inspector in the New Territories, followed by a stint as an instructor, McRobbie was appointed assistant manager of the Police Officers’ Club and has also served as the programme host for the televised ‘Police Report’ programme.
After attaining a sports and recreation management qualification from the Hong Kong University SPACE programme, McRobbie joined the rugby union.
McRobbie is a tireless proponent of grassroots rugby development, having been integrally involved in the launch of the Sai Kung Stingrays, Hong Kong Scottish and Discipline Services rugby clubs.
He served as the match manager for the two Bledisloe Cups in Hong Kong in 2008 and 2010, and was also heavily involved in the British & Irish Lions versus Barbarians match in 2013, as well as the annual Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
On the pitch, McRobbie played for the Hong Kong Police rugby club from 1992 and represented Hong Kong ‘A’ in both 15-a-side and sevens rugby.
He is also a director of local sports charity Operation Breakthrough, which uses sport as a medium to help at-risk youth.