Scotland’s First Minister visits Hong Kong’s first ‘School of Rugby’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 4:15am

The students of Confucius Hall Secondary School, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union’s first official “School of Rugby”, had a special visitor to their rugby lessons today when the First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond popped in to see how the HKRFU’s latest community initiative was progressing.

The leader of the Scottish Government has a particular interest in the "School of Rugby" programme as it was born out of a 2011 memorandum of understanding signed by Salmond and the then Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, with the aim of using sport to foster closer relations between the two territories.

Since then the HKRFU and the Scottish Rugby Union have worked closely on a number of projects and resources for the “School of Rugby” concept have been made available to Hong Kong through the support of the SRU.

Scottish rugby’s version of the schools programme is now in its fourth year and the unique combination of classroom lessons, physical education and extracurricular activities is proving to have a positive impact on students in targeted schools.

"The First Minister was a huge hit with the students," said School of Rugby coach Craig Wilson, who plays for Hong Kong Scottish in the local Paul Y Premiership.

“He was very interested to see how the programme was progressing, and was very supportive. We also explained that Edinburgh Napier University was involved in measuring the impact of the project on the physiological and psychological well-being of the students, another great example of Scottish-Hong Kong co-operation,” Wilson added.

The First Minister was presented with a special souvenir to mark his visit by Dr Dennis Hui, the chairman of Confucius Hall. Salmond in turn presented a traditional Scottish quaich to the school, which Dr Hui promised would become a future rugby trophy.