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Wed, 5 April 2017

Tackling Barriers Through Sport: HKRU Expands Partnership with Laureus

The Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation has teamed up with Laureus, a global sports-based charity that works to improve the lives of young people, to stage several community activities during the week of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

It is the first of an expanded engagement drive that will see the two sports-based charitable bodies work closer together in coming years.

The engagements are being run under the umbrella theme of ‘Tackling Barriers through Sport’ and have drawn the support of the Hong Kong SAR Government.

Laureus encompasses the Laureus Sport for Good programme, the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors Programme and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Since its inception, Laureus Sports for Good has raised over €100 million for more than 150 projects in over 40 countries worldwide.

The HKRU’s history of partnering with Laureus dates back to 2003, when the HKRU-supported Hong Kong Police charity, Operation Breakthrough, was included as one of the Laureus Sports for Good projects worldwide.

The expanded association with Laureus around the 2017 Hong Kong Sevens is set to continue throughout the year as Laureus boosts its presence in Asia with a commitment to expand its work in the region.

Hurriana Manuel, Andy Barrow, Waisale Serevi, Jean de Villiers and Ben Gollings pose with some of HKG's top wheelchair athletes at Tuesday's rugby demo

Over the course of 2017, Laureus will be supporting 18 organisations in 12 Asian countries, sourcing new potential programme partners for the future and engaging with local partners, including HKRU, to help build a strong strategy for the region in order to impact more young people through sport.

Several globally respected Laureus Academy members are lending their support to the array of community activities during the event week, including ex-New Zealand All Black Sean Fitzpatrick, who was named Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2016.

Former Springbok centre Jean de Villiers and Chinese Olympic gold medallist Li Xiaoping are also visiting Hong Kong as part of the Laureus engagement during Sevens week.

“The Hong Kong Sevens is widely regarded as the finest tournament of its kind in the world and one of the flagship sporting events in Asia. Over the years, Laureus has partnered frequently with the HKRU around our jointly supported Operation Breakthrough programme,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of Laureus World Sports Academy.“We are delighted to be able to team up once again to help harness the international platform of the Sevens to help youth Tackle Barriers Through Sport.”

On Tuesday, Laureus stars were joined by Mr Stephen Sui, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Hong Kong SAR Government, and the Classic Wallabies touring team, to kick off a meaningful morning of rugby that featured Deaf Rugby, Inclusive Rugby and Wheelchair Rugby.

The HKRU’s team of Inclusive Rugby Officers, as well as Laureus rugby legends like De Villiers and members of the Classic Wallabies are running the programmes.

Tuesday’s Chater Garden programmes were supported by the Hong Kong Association for the Deaf, the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (HKSF&OC).

The HKRU has recently applied to join the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee as it seeks to expand its rugby offerings for Hong Kong’s physically challenged athletes.

As part of the wheelchair rugby initiative, Mr Andy Barrow, former captain of the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby team and a participant in three Paralympic Games, three World Championships and five European Championships, headlined the Wheelchair Rugby engagement.

Barrow, who captained Great Britain from 2005 to 2010 before retiring after the 2012 Paralympics, came along to HKSEVENS Central in Chater Garden for a special Wheelchair Rugby demonstration on Tuesday afternoon. Members of the Hong Kong Wheelchair Basketball and other wheelchair sports teams were also there to try their hands at rugby with Barrow in the demonstration.

On Thursday, 6 April, the HKRU’s Value of Sport Luncheon returns to the Sevens Week calendar at the City Garden Hotel. Organised by the HKRU, the Value of Sport Luncheon is sponsored by SINO Group, co-organised with the Consulate-General of New Zealand in Hong Kong, and supported by the HKSF&OC and the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Foundation.

This year’s luncheon will be preceded by three workshops including one on Overcoming Adversity run by Andy Barrow.

Other sessions feature Laureus-supported programmes including Peace Players run by former Irish rugby international Trevor  Ringland. Peace Players operates programmes that use sport, primarily basketball, as a way to break down community divides and has been run successfully in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the West Bank and South Africa.

The third workshop will focus on how sport can prevent juvenile delinquency, with former England and South Africa internationals Charlie Hodgson and Neil de Kock moderating. The workshop will also include retired Hong Kong Police Chief Superintendent Ian Seabourne, founder of Operation Breakthrough.

The lunch following the workshops will be hosted by the New Zealand Consul General Gabrielle Rush and will begin with a panel session to recap the morning’s workshops.

Former All Black fly half Andrew Merhtens, Fitzpatrick, de Villiers, Li, and British Olympic gold medallist rower Sir Steven Redgrave will join this year’s luncheon.

Other pages about the 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens: Pictures from Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2017, Fiji Beat South Africa to Win 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, HK Teams Announced for Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Samoa and Tonga Rugby Sevens Teams Raise Awareness of Shark Conservation, Tackling Barriers Through Sport: HKRU Expands Partnership with Laureus, Official Draw for Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2017, Paul John to Head HKSI's Sevens Programme, Bars and Restaurants on Hong Kong Island Offer Special HK7s Discounts, Cigna Becomes an Official Sponsor of Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay to be Part of World's Best Sevens Party, Marriott Offers Exclusive Experiences During HKSevens Rugby Week 2017, Hong Kong to Compete in Borneo Sevens 2017, Hong Kong Sevens - Interview with Luc Bollen, GM of The Park Lane Hong Kong (2016). See also: Pictures of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See other recent news regarding: Hong Kong, Sevens, HKRU, Rugby.

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