Hong Kong youngsters set new world record

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 3 November 2010
 Hong Kong youngsters set new world record
Hong Kong youngsters set a new Guinness World Record over the weekend

The future of rugby in Hong Kong looks bright after more than two thousand children took part in the world’s largest mini rugby tournament on Saturday, helping to set a new Guinness World Record in the process.

The tournament, organised by the Hong Kong Mini Rugby Football Union (HKMRFU) and HSBC, saw 2,610 excited youngsters aged between four and 12 participate at the Hong Kong Football Club and Happy Valley Sports Grounds, smashing the previous record by 1,778 children.

“Mini Rugby in Hong Kong is becoming increasingly popular,” explained Kim Lam, Chairwoman of the HKMRFU, which represents 18 mini rugby clubs from all territories in Hong Kong.

“The number of children playing rugby has grown tremendously over the past decade.

“With this event, we hope to generate public awareness and secure the support and commitment of local government in order to maximise rugby players’ participation in Hong Kong.”

The tournament was officially declared a Guinness World Record by Adjudicator Stuart Claxton, with Australian World Cup winner Matt Burke and former Scotland international and British & Irish Lion Gavin Hastings joining in with the fun on the pitch.

“Everyone talks about the importance of growing rugby in Asia, and what better demonstration of the growing interest and love for rugby in Hong Kong than the turn out today,” said Hastings.

“These children are really enjoying playing mini rugby through the Hong Kong Mini Rugby Football Union, and it is fantastic that every one of the 2,610 children here today has now got into the World Record books by doing something they love.

“I encourage them all to continue practicing and enjoying their rugby, and maybe one day we will see one or two of these kids breaking more records on the rugby pitch.”