Saracens star Jim Hamilton kicks off community drive for big-hearted HKRU
The Hong Kong Rugby Union will this weekend host a series of activities through its Community Foundation – the governing body's charity arm set up in 2013.
Former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton kicks things off Friday when he launches a new primary school initiative, Hong Kong’s Rugby Spirit, at a ceremony at the Sir Ellis Kadoorie School in So Kon Po.
Backed by UBS, the scheme aims to promote some key values that are generally associated with the sport – such as honesty, respect and teamwork.
Hamilton, who helped his club Saracens to both the English Premiership and European Rugby Champions Cup titles this season, comes from a Hong Kong background and makes no secret that rugby helped give his life positive direction when he was a troubled teenager.
On Saturday, Societe Generale will host a Citizen Commitment Day at King’s Park Sports Ground where they will entertain youngsters from Po Leung Kuk, the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, ChickenSoup Foundation and the Hans Andersen Club.
Societe Generale and the Community Foundation will also be announcing a partnership on several upcoming projects which will offer opportunities for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in community rugby programmes.
This week also sees the start of the foundation’s second touch rugby course for young offenders at the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, following on from last September's successful introduction which saw eight weeks of rugby lessons delivered to young offenders.
The HKRU’s promising partnership with Cambodia’s Krousar Thmey charity continues when 11 young deaf Cambodians arrive in Hong Kong on Friday for a four-day tour that will include a day at a local deaf school, tag rugby matches with the Hong Kong deaf rugby team, and a visit to Ocean Park.
This is the third interchange between the HKRU and Krousar Thmey following an initial visit to Hong Kong in 2014 and a return trip to Phnom Penh last year sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.
“All of us at the union are incredibly proud of the work being done through the HKRU [Community Foundation]," Stuart Gunn, the union’s inclusive rugby officer, said in a statement.
“We are focused on using sport to help tackle issues in the areas of health, education, disability, juvenile crime and social inclusion, and thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and partners such as VIVA, Chinese University and the British Council, we believe we’re making a positive contribution to our society,” he added.