IRB makes an impact beyond JWRT

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 8 April 2014
 IRB makes an impact beyond JWRT
More than 70 youngsters from five schools took part in Hong Kong's first IRB Get Into Rugby programme - Photo: 2014 Power Sport Images

The International Rugby Board, through its Regional Association, the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU), is funding a number of Impact Beyond activities around the ongoing Junior World Rugby Trophy in Hong Kong.

All eight of the participating teams in the Junior World Rugby Trophy conducted Impact Beyond activities on Tuesday, visiting schools in Hong Kong and giving local youngsters a chance to rub shoulders with future stars of the world game and observe them in training and preparation.

The teams of Japan, Georgia, Tonga and USA held special rugby sessions for hearing-impaired rugby players from the Chun Tok School for the Deaf at King’s Park. The teams also supported a rugby engagement activity for physically and mentally challenged youths from the Sarah Roe Jockey Club School. 

The Sarah Roe School is an English Schools Foundation Special Needs School that the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union has been working with since 2009. The aim of the joint programme is to develop the students’ physical and social development. 

In total, more than 70 youth took part in the morning sessions at King’s Park. 

The afternoon saw the HKRFU District Development Officers (DDOs) launch the first Get Into Rugby programme in Hong Kong. The IRB programme was conducted following a familiarisation and certification day for the DDOs in March. 

Hong Kong’s first Get Into Rugby clinic was supported by the members of the Hong Kong Under 20 team taking part in the Trophy and attracted more than 70 students new to the game from five local schools in the Tin Shui Wai community.

Inspiring the next generation

Joseph Wong, a PE teacher from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College, was enthusiastic about the activity. “It is a great opportunity for our kids to experience and see different levels of rugby. Having the Hong Kong players here today at Tin Shui Wai provides great inspiration for our players to aspire to represent Hong Kong one day.”

Hong Kong Under captain Michael Parfitt added: “It gives us a great deal of pride to come out and work with the local communities and with these kids today. As a team we have benefitted hugely from our interaction with the kids today.”

Tuesday afternoon also saw the Canadian team conduct a clinic for youngsters from the rugby programmes at the Canadian International School in Aberdeen, with a session of skills and touch games followed by a dinner for the participating players and students.

Sanjay Lalwani, a Grade 5 teacher at Canadian International School, said: “The entire school community at Canadian International School was energised by the visit of the Canadian Under 20s team. The students involved in rugby at the school really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from these accomplished young players and are looking forward to returning the favour by supporting the team in the JWRT in Hong Kong.”

In other legacy programmes held during the Junior World Rugby Trophy, the IRB’s tournament director conducted a match commissioner’s workshop, enabling a number of HKRFU personnel to be involved in the latter rounds of the tournament in this capacity.

From 11-13 April, 10 members of the HKRFU’s and ARFU’s regional referee coach panels will attend the first-ever running of the IRB’s latest Level 2 Coaching of Match Officials course.

Then, over the final weekend of the tournament, the IRB will run a Judicial training and education workshop bringing up to 15 members of the HKRFU’s and ARFU’s judicial panels together for up-to-date guidance on the latest implementation of relevant IRB regulations in live match scenarios.