On Field – Director of Rugby: 9th September

Pre – Season

What an exciting part of the year. Pre-season! Players old and new returning to the pitch, Coaches old and new connecting with their teams again and of course the big welcome to any new players and families to the Valley Fort Community.

There has been a great deal going on behind the scenes to have the season ready to go. The Youth Teams are entering their third week of training and the Minis began their season in spectacular style across three venues last Sunday.

Coaching

A welcome back to all our coaches for the new season. Both in Youth and Mini we have new faces and I look forward to the sessions they will provide our players this season.

2021 I have introduced a Core Skill guidelines to assist coaches in focusing on the elements of the game that are specifically aligned to their respective age groups. This way we can build a strong foundation of the basics of the game throughout the club and then adapt to a “style” of play we wish to see dependent on the particular group’s competency at these skills.

In addition, I have introduced a Valley Fort Coaching Process for our coaches, that is HOW do the coaches go about delivering sessions in the best possible way to ensure the best learning and performance outcomes.

I hope that everyone supports these changes so that we can attain consistency in the product we are delivering across the club at all levels.

Coach the Coaches

Last Sunday over twenty Mini coaches and Managers joined me at HKRU for a three -hour session on Coaching Process. The interactive and theory- based session was well received and I am sure had coaches looking at the way they coach a little more closely.

The session was themed around :

Keeping it REAL and let’s GROW together.

R – Realistic                                                   G – Goals

E – Enjoyable                                                R – Reality

A – Active                                                      O – Opportunity

L – Learning                                                  W – Whats Next

I thank all those present and those who tuned in on Zoom for their enthusiasm and contribution.

There will be a number of these session throughout the season ensuring our players are receiving “best practice” in relation to coaching at Valley Fort.

Yours in Rugby

JC

Valley Fort Townhall_Sept 2021

Valley Fort Townhall_Sept 2021_Abridged

Abridged version of the Valley Fort Townhall presentation on 3rd September 2021 to launch the 2021 / 22 season. For a recording of the presentation please email us at info@valleyfort.com.

On Field – Director of Rugby: 24th September

Youth (U13 – U18 Girls & Boys)

What a spectacular week past watching our Youth teams train in the new kit for 2021/22. There was a real sense of pride as the players donned their new jerseys and completed their sessions with only two weeks before the first fixtures of the new season.

I am encouraged to share that coaches have arranged a number of friendly matches or combined training sessions this weekend with rival clubs to get the players into “game mode” for the beginning of the season.

During the season preparation stages before matches and tournaments are played, teams should ordinarily pass from:

  • Stage 1 : Train to Train
  • Stage 2 : Train to Play
  • Stage 3 : Train to Compete

These stages will be incorporated in much finer detail in the seasons ahead. Currently, the players are now in the ‘Train to Compete’ phase and are preparing strongly for the league season beginning October 3rd. The Youth teams at Happy Valley are gearing up for their first fixtures and this can be seen in the coaching and activities they are undertaking. Team play is paramount at this stage of preparation. However, there can never be a reduction in focus on the basic core skills of the game. I will be encouraging coaches to maintain this focus as the season gets underway.

An exciting week of training awaits us as the excitement builds to the first round of the 21/22 Season.

 

Minis (U5 – U12 Girls & Boys)

As I travelled to all three training venues last Sunday, I witnessed the continuation of excellent work from the Mini coaches at HKIS and Aberdeen. The focus on the core skills and definitive coaching cues are becoming part of the coaching process as the first steps to consistency across the coaching spectrum for all teams.

Yours in Rugby,

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby Valley Fort RFC

Reminders: here is the pitch schedule and the bus schedule for HKIS.

On Field: Director of Rugby: 8th October

Youth

Finally, after all the preparations, Round 1 of the new season has been played by our Youth teams (except U14 Girls who kick off this weekend). Some very impressive rugby was played by all teams. I am de-briefing and working with our Pro Coaches to review these performances which is important for the development of all teams and provides a focus for the training sessions moving forward.

We recorded wins in the U13 Boys Premiership and U18 Boys Championship fixtures and had a stirring draw in the U16 Boys Premiership game against HKFC. It was also particularly great to see our U16 Girls out on the pitch and finishing on a high – the first VF U16 girls in many years. There is a great deal to be positive about as the season continues and we build upon what we learn.

In training, as all teams continue to work on the basic skills needed to compete then the team play will also develop. A focus on core skills is the key to consistent performances both as individuals and teams. I am pleased to see that skills and game sense activities are also a major part of training for all our teams.

I would also like to commend all our team managers and supporters for the positive way they supported the teams across all our game venues. I continue to encourage all associated with Valley Fort to be a leading example to all our boys and girls on game day behaviour.

A big thanks to Janet Zomerman, Georgi Oxley and everyone else associated with the kit distribution and the collection of our old kit for Crossroads. Our teams looked fantastic on the pitches on Sunday. We will be organising our official team photos in the next couple of weeks so look out for further details on this.

A quick reminder also that mouthguards are essential and no boy or girl will be allowed to participate games or training without one.

Bring on Round 2!

Minis

It was another action packed Sunday of training for our U5’s to U8’s at HKIS and it was fantastic to see our U9 – U12 age groups in friendly games against Sandy Bay.

The improvement I have seen from week to week in these age groups is a credit to the coaches and the focus they are putting into the basic skills of the game. More importantly however is the smiles on the faces of the boys and girls as I travel around the venues each week. There are excited and enthusiastic Valley Fort players and coaches everywhere I go!

In the weeks ahead, games will be arranged against other clubs to add the competitive edge to the teams and give a clearer picture of their progression from training session to competitive environments. Nick Carlsen is working with both the HKRU and the other clubs to finalise this and the festival schedule.

A big thanks to Nick, Paul Brodie and everyone involved with Minis kit distribution, name printing and old kit collection for Crossroads. We will be organising our first official Minis team photos in the next couple of weeks so look out for further details on this.

Finally, a reminder to encourage your daughters’ and sons’ friends who haven’t had a go at playing rugby that they are more than welcome to come and try with Valley Fort at any time.

Yours in Rugby,

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby, Valley Fort RFC

Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 22nd October 2021

Youth

Following the disrupted weekend of rugby due to the typhoon, teams were back on the pitches last week with some very impressive results.

A wonderful performance from the U16 girls who won their first game was perhaps the highlight of the week’s fixtures. This composite team is coming together nicely and with excellent coaching, they are beginning to show their talent. The U14 girls showed continued signs of improvement and are working hard on areas to improve and secure a winning performance this weekend.

It was a wonderful day at Happy Valley with all U16 and U18 boys teams playing some very physical and exciting rugby with a large number of spectators enjoying the afternoon’s action.

It was clear that the week we missed in training and last week’s game affected the younger teams with the U13 and U14 boys teams a little rusty and lacking in cohesion following the enforced break. They have worked hard this week at training to make up for lost time and I am confident they will put in strong performances against Sandy Bay this week.

I continue to encourage our coaching staff to maintain a focus on the core skills of the game as the teams expand on their playing structures. The style we want to play as a club is very dependent on a level of skill that enables the players to execute on the pitch effectively.

I wish all teams a positive and successful week of fixtures.

Enjoy the rugby

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

 

Minis On Field: Director of Rugby: 22nd October 2021

Minis

Again, some disruption to our Mini training recently due to the unsettled weather. Having the non-contact age group (U5 – U8) back at HKIS was great to see! The activities and skill development of all the players is clear to see as we work our way deeper into the season.

The contact age groups (U9 – U12) are getting closer to competition games against other clubs in the next few weeks and some have already completed practice games with good results. It can sometimes be a delicate balance between using the pitch time for competition or training and we are working to strike the right balance.

Specifically, over the next few weeks we have:

  • TigerFest: Sunday 31st October – U8 to U11 Age Groups
    • USRC Tigers will be hosting a Rugby Carnival at Kings Park all day on Sunday 31stOctober for the U8 – U11 age groups only.
    • Due to restrictions we will not be able to have all players participating (50% at best guess) and priority will be given to those who did not participate at HK Stadium.
    • Your Head Coach will let you know final plans and schedules and For those not playing at TigerFest, there will most likely be joint training with another Club, but we are working on the logistics of that.  Watch this space!
    • U5’s-U7’s will be training at HKIS as normal on this day, just with a little more space as the U8’s will not be there and fear not……. we will organize age group specific days against other teams very soon. Clearly we cannot have visitors to HKIS, so this will be an exciting away fixture somewhere…!
  • Richard Hawkes (U12 Boys) and Kim Lam (U12 Girls) Competitions
    • It has been decided that RH will be a combination of 12 aside and 7 aside teams, whilst KL will remain as 7 aside as per last season.
    • The first date for this competition will most likely be 31stOctober with more to follow from your Head Coaches.
  • Friday Nights Under Lights…..
    • We are very pleased to announce that we have been given the all-clear from HKIS to commence week night training on Friday nights at HKIS for the U9 – U12 age groups (boys and girls).
    • There is a decent amount of form filling to get done to get coaches and players their access cards, but your Head Coach will be in touch on that.
    • It’s looking like Nov 5thor 12th will be the first Friday night training session.

Enjoy the rugby

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

 

 

Personal Information Collection Statement – 22nd October 2021

VALLEY FORT RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB (Company No. 0446812), with registered office at Room 801-2, 8/F, 224 – 228 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong (referred to hereinafter as “we” or the “Club”) are committed to complying with the mandatory data protection laws of any applicable jurisdiction in relation to the collection, retention, processing, use, transfer and/or storage of your personal data.

Kinds of Personal Data to be Collected and/or Held

“Personal data” refers to any data which directly or indirectly identifies you as an individual, or is capable of doing so. We collect and use personal data that we believe is necessary to conduct our business with you. The types of personal data we collect may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Contact information such as your name, email address, mailing address, telephone number, and fax number;
  2. Unique identifiers such as your HKID and passport number;
  3. Billing information such as your credit card number, bank account information, and billing address;
  4. Demographic information such as age, gender, nationality, date of birth, weight, height, preferences, marital status, car licence plate number, family and education background, and employment history;
  5. Membership information and activity records;
  6. Demographic information or identifier that are held in a cookie or processor serial number that is combined with other personal information; and
  7. Any of the above information in relation to your parents and/or child.

Collection of your personal data

The Club collects your personal data when you apply for membership at the Club (including via our Valley Fort registration platform). If the applicant is under the age of 18, the application should be made by the parent or legal guardian and the parent or legal guardian must give the relevant consent in providing the personal data to us. The Valley Rugby Football Club Limited also shares personal data of their members with us.

The Club also receives personal data from its partner associations, including but not limited to (i) the Hong Kong Hockey Association; (ii) the Hong Kong Netball Association; and (iii) the Hong Kong Rugby Union (the “Partner Associations”). We may also collect your personal data from coaches and administrators who has direct contact with you while you participate in the Club’s activities.

In order for us to properly process your membership application or provide you with our facilities / services, you must provide the personal data requested. Please note that if you do not provide us with the personal data requested, we may not be able to process your application(s) or to provide facilities and services to you.

Purposes for which we collect your personal data

Your personal data is collected for the following purposes (“Purposes”):

  1. carrying out the Club’s operations and provision of facilities, services and merchandises;
  1. conducting checks regarding eligibility for using the facilities and services applied for;
  1. processing application, administration, continuation and termination of your membership at the Club, and any other relevant matters;
  1. processing billing and payment, determining amounts outstanding, and, if necessary, collection of outstanding payments;
  1. offering, providing and marketing to you the facilities, services and/or merchandises offered by the Club, or of any of our sponsors, subsidiaries, affiliates, related or group entities (see “Use and provision of personal data in direct marketing” below), and administering, maintaining, managing and operating such facilities/services;
  1. communicating with you via telephone, mail, e-mail, facsimile or any other means of communication;
  1. conducting market research for statistical or other purposes and designing facilities, services and/or merchandises for members;
  1. providing you with alerts, updates, materials or information about our facilities, services and/or merchandises or other types of information that you requested or signed up to;
  1. making disclosure as required by any applicable law, rules, regulations, codes of practice or guidelines or to assist in law enforcement purposes, investigations by police or other government or regulatory authorities in Hong Kong or elsewhere;
  1. complying with the laws of any applicable jurisdiction and with any internal policies of the Club;
  1. carrying out other services in connection with the operation of the Club’s business; and
  1. other purposes directly relating to any of the above.

Disclosure and transfer of your personal data

Personal data will be kept confidential but may, where disclosure is necessary to satisfy any of the Purposes set out above, be provided to the following parties (whether within or outside Hong Kong) (“Transferees”):

  1. any member of our group or any of our related entities, including but not limited to the Valley Rugby Football Club Limited;
  1. our Partner Associations;
  1. the relevant governing bodies of sports which regulates the sporting activities offered by the Club;
  1. any agent, business partner, adviser, auditor, contractor, financial institution, and third party service provider who provides administrative, data processing, data storage, communications, computer, payment, system infrastructure and operation, website administration, or any other service which assist us to carry out the Purposes;
  1. our legal and professional advisors;
  1. government or regulatory bodies or any person to whom we are required to make disclosure under applicable laws and regulations in or outside of Hong Kong; or
  1. actual or proposed transferees of our operations (or a substantial part thereof) in or outside of Hong Kong.

In connection with any of the Purposes set out above, your personal data may be transferred to Transferees who may be located in or outside of Hong Kong where there may or may not be in place data protection laws which are substantially similar to, or serve the same purposes as, any mandatory data privacy laws of Hong Kong.

Access and correction of personal data

You have the right to ascertain whether the Club holds your personal data, to obtain a copy of the data, and to correct any data that is inaccurate. You may also request the Club to inform you of the type of personal data held by it.

Requests for access and correction of personal data or for information regarding the Club’s policies and practices relating to personal data should be addressed in writing to:

The Data Protection Officer
Valley Fort Rugby Football Club Limited
Room 801-2, 8/F, 224 – 228 Des Voeux Road Central
Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

A reasonable fee may be charged to offset the Club’s administrative and actual costs incurred in complying with your data access request.

Use and provision of personal data in direct marketing

In addition to the Purposes set out above, the Club intends to use your personal data for direct marketing purposes, including sending you promotional materials and conducting direct marketing in relation to the following facilities, services and subjects:

  1. the Club’s facilities, services, merchandises and membership programmes;
  1. the products, services, promotions and offerings from any of the Club’s sponsors (a current list of the Club’s sponsors can be found at https://valleyfort.com/sponsors/ and any other commercial affiliates; and
  1. any charitable/non-profitable causes.

The types of personal data to be used for the above direct marketing purposes will include your name, address, contact details and any demographic and membership information.

Before using your personal data for direct marketing, the Club must obtain your written consent, and only after having obtained such written consent, the Club will use your personal data for any promotional or marketing purpose. You may in the future withdraw your consent to the use of your personal data for direct marketing purposes and thereafter the Club shall cease to use such data for direct marketing purposes.

If you wish to withdraw your consent, please inform us in writing to the address set out above under “Access and correction of personal data”. Any such request should clearly state details of the personal data in respect of which the request is being made. The Club shall, without charge to you, ensure that you are not included in future direct marketing activities.

Media release consent

The club may use photograph/video/sound recording of my child(ren) or myself/ourselves in print and electronic media, including publications, promotional materials, publicity, news release, educational materials and the club’s (and Hong Kong Rugby Union) official social media avenues. By accepting this PICS consent, the Club and its employees are discharged from any and all claims arising out of the use of these materials.

Stadium Showdown Bus Schedule – 30th October

Bus 1
13:25 Redhill Plaza on Pak Pat Shan Road (outside steps entrance to Woodlands Montessori)
13.28 The American Club, Tai Tam (public bus stop)
13:30 No.7 Stanley Village Road (Bus Stop)
13:31 Stanley Plaza – bus stop
13:33 Chung Hom Kok – Wellcome
13:35 Headland Road – Public Bus Stop
13:40 No.127 Repulse Bay Road (public bus stop)
13:41 No.109 Repulse Bay – Public bus stop
13:50 HK Cricket Club – Opposite HK Cricket Club outside the petrol station
To: Hong Kong Stadium

Bus 2
13.25 The American Club, Tai Tam (public bus stop)
13.27 No.7 Stanley Village Road (Bus Stop)
13:28 Stanley Plaza – bus stop
13:30 Chung Hom Kok – Wellcome
13:33 Headland Road – Public Bus Stop
13:37 No.127 Repulse Bay Road (public bus stop)
13:38 No.109 Repulse Bay – Public bus stop
13:47 HK Cricket Club – Opposite HK Cricket Club outside the petrol station
To: Hong Kong Stadium

Bus 3
13.25 The American Club, Tai Tam (public bus stop)
13.27 No.7 Stanley Village Road (Bus Stop)
13:28 Stanley Plaza – bus stop
13:30 Chung Hom Kok – Wellcome
13:33 Headland Road – Public Bus Stop
13:37 No.127 Repulse Bay Road (public bus stop)
13:38 No.109 Repulse Bay – Public bus stop
13:47 HK Cricket Club – Opposite HK Cricket Club outside the petrol station
To: Hong Kong Stadium

Bus 4
13:25 Cyber Port in the bus stop outside the Cinema
13:35 Hong Kong Country Club Bus Stop
13:37 Deepdene, 33 Island Road (public bus stop)
13:47 HK Cricket Club – Opposite HK Cricket Club outside the petrol station
To: Hong Kong Stadium

Minis On Field: Director of Rugby: 5th November 2021

There are simply not enough words to describe the huge weekend for many of our mini teams last weekend. The incredible excitement taking part in the Stadium Showcase was obvious to all whom  were there. Our U10 – U12 boys and girls all took part in the Stadium Showdown Showcase where they competed well on the big stage. I hope and am sure lifelong memories were made. A massive thanks to our Head of Minis, Nick Carlsen, and everyone who assisted him for organising such a wonderful event for our players.

Sunday saw the contact Minis compete in the Richard Hawkes first Round for U12 Boys and Kim Lam Cup for U12 Girls with the remainder competing in Tigerfest with many games played across the day. All our teams will be better for the competition these events offer and will create a real focus for coaches in the training sessions ahead.

HKIS was again a buzz on Sunday morning although a little quieter with some teams away competing. The skill development and fun activities is impressive to see. I receive a number of requests each week for further resources for these coaches so they can continue to develop the groups under their care.

November 12th is the date where we are planning to start Friday evening training at HKIS. In the coming days registration forms online will be made available to all players coaches and families concerned. It is very important these are completed on time to gain access to the HKIS Campus for these training sessions so please keep an eye out and revert promptly.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Yours in Rugby,

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

 

Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 5th November 2021

A disrupted draw over the last couple of weeks has meant it has been difficult to keep momentum going for a few teams or perhaps it has been a well earned break – depending on your perspective!

The improvement in the Youth teams is clearly evident with perhaps some increased game understanding needed at times.

The U16 boys continued their impressive season with a strong win at Sandy Bay. The U14 girls went down narrowly for HKFC in an entertaining affair and a game of missed opportunities for our girls. The U16 girls also went down but continue to gel as a composite team getting better and better each week.

This week also saw the departure of Mitch Purvis back to his homeland New Zealand – a big thanks to Mitch! Mitch did a great job with the U18 boys and I am sure he will be missed! The team will be determined to keep their excellent season going into this weekend with the huge clash against FC.

The younger teams enjoyed the weekend off and still do not resume fixtures for another week. The opportunity to work hard on the training pitch will not be lost on the coaches to ensure improved performances heading to the Christmas break.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Yours in Rugby,

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 20th November 2021

It was great to see all our teams return to the pitch last weekend. Again, the Valley Fort teams performed extremely well against strong opposition and, in many cases, were victorious in close fought affairs.

The Valley Fort teams have a determination and resilience to the physicality of the game. As the skill levels improve, we will become more complete in their performances.

The U18 and U16 Boys were successful in both Prems and Champ fixtures with all games  being nail biters! Either scoring at the death or hanging on until the final whistle was the order of the day for these teams and they all continue the season towards the very top of their respective points tables.

While the U16 girls were on a bye week, the U14 Girls had a great win. The fixture, however, was marred by a number of injuries which eventually shortened the game. This resulted in a very disjointed performance as the girls couldn’t get any momentum due to the stoppages.

In the younger boys age groups the U14’s battled hard against the formidable HKFC. They never gave up whilst displaying continued improvement and team unity. Finally, it was great to see the U13 boys return to the form we know they are capable of. Consistency is the key as we head to the latter part of the season.

It is hard to believe we are four weeks from the Christmas break so the XVs season is building to a conclusion for most of the age groups. We will  transition into 10s and 7s from the middle of January 2022.

The club would also like to wish those players within our community who have suffered injuries a speedy recovery. Rugby is by its very nature a collision sport and despite the excellent coaching in technique the Valley Fort players receive injuries can and will occur from time to time. We are fortunate that First Aid assistance is a priority at Valley Fort and a designated medical official is on hand at all of our fixtures and training sessions.

Have a great weekend.

Yours in Rugby,

JC

National Representative Teams: Director of Rugby: 20th November 2021

Congratulations to our U19 boys and U16 boys and girls who were selected in the NAG (National Age Grade) squad by the HKRU to prepare for the traditional New Years Day fixtures.

U19 Boys – Oscar Bousser, Montgomery Davies, Paul De Klebnikoff, Emile Dubourg, Bastien Hersey, Like Laskowski, Also Mage, James McGovern, Jules Moulin, Jack Openshaw, Thomas Peyrissaguet.

U16 Boys – Andrew Durant, Kent Flores, Hugo Healy, Matthew Henderson, Thomas Jenkins, Maurits Kennes, Marcus Law, Hugo Mahe, Charlie Maltas, Finn Marriott, David McMurtray, Donald Ng, Liam Quinn, Alister Ripert, Ollie Sinclair, Likas Tornberg, Leo Wheeler.

U16 Girls – Xanthe Falloon, Cammie Oxley, Isabella Perry.

The U14 boys also received invitations to take part in development camps and games during December whilst the girls will receive information regarding their development and representative opportunities in the coming days.

These are wonderful opportunities for our Valley Fort Players to either compete at the next level or experience competitive training and competition amongst their peers here in Hong Kong.

Minis On Field: Director of Rugby: 20th November 2021

A return to regular training was the order of the day for our Mini teams following the festivals of the week before. It is so important we find the right balance between competition and training for our players. These competitive outings give the coaches a better understanding of where we need to concentrate and improve.

A huge weekend of competition again awaits the U6 – U11 Minis age groups at Sandy Bay RFC this Sunday. This will be a fantastic day of competition for the non-contact and contact teams participating and I wish all teams and coaches a successful day.

After a training session this Sunday, the following Sunday the U12 boys and girls will be competing in the second round of the Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam competition

Unfortunately, the proposed Friday night training sessions slated for HKIS did not come to fruition. We are seeking alternative training options and will communicate these if and when they become reality.

Have a great weekend.

Yours in Rugby,

JC

Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 3rd December 2021

Where has the 2021 Season gone? With only two rounds before the Christmas break it seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for pre- season.

The past two weeks has seen terrific performances from all our Youth teams and for me, most pleasingly improvement in areas that I know coaches were working on.

Teams from Valley Fort have dominated opposition teams and produced exciting Rugby, showcasing an array of skills that see all our Youth teams in the top four of their respective competitions and five of those teams either leading or in second place.

Whilst the win/loss ratio is not the only statistic that is important, what it does show is the coaching and improvement and performances of all our teams. The success of any club is the sum of the collective and this is something we can, and should, all be proud of. So many people who give up time and expertise to see our players flourish in a wonderful, supportive learning environment.

As we head towards the Christmas break, I encourage all players to push to the end. It is very easy to ease off knowing there is a break ahead. These final couple of games are just as important as the first of the season.

A saying I was once given that I enjoy passing onto players I coach: “ If it’s meant to be, its up to me”

The remaining weeks of this season is up to everyone doing their part to the best of their ability.

Best of luck to all teams this weekend and let’s rip into training in these last couple of weeks.

Yours in Rugby

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

Minis On Field: Director of Rugby: 3rd December 2021

Festivals were the order of the day for all our Mini teams over the past week. A massive day at Kings Park and Sandy Bay saw what Rugby can produce when all the clubs come together to celebrate this wonderful game.

These competition days are a huge undertaking and all the Coaches and parents who encourage our players to take part with such enthusiasm are to be congratulated.

Another aspect of these Festivals is as a way of measuring our development as a Club against other Clubs. It is also a way of implementing training in a competitive environment. I know many coaches were very pleased with the progress their teams are making as new elements of the game are introduced to the players.

Best of luck to our Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam U12 boys and girls teams who play their next Round of fixtures on December 12 which is a terrific way to head into the Christmas Break.

There are two opportunities for coaches and managers and parents to get involved further through the Tackle License and Coacharee courses which are coming up soon. If you wish to be involved the managers or Head Coaches of each team will have the information they can pass on. They are great courses and a good way to stay connected to the game at this level.

There will also be some news next week regarding Friday Evening training sessions for specific age groups. More to come on that in the days ahead.

All the best to all age groups for a great couple of weeks ahead

Yours in Rugby

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 22nd December 2021

As we enter the final week before the Christmas Break it gives me time to comment of all that has been achieved across the past two weeks and indeed the season thus far.

Without doubt the highlight of the last few weeks has been the wonderful success of the U14 Girls who were victorious in their Grand final over Sandy Bay last Sunday at Kings Park.

I have had the pleasure of coaching a few small sessions with these girls throughout the season and their enthusiasm and willingness to learn and improve is infectious. What I witnessed on Sunday was perhaps their most complete performance of the season. Running Rugby, secure set piece, effective work at the breakdown and technically sound defense.

The coaching staff Rebecca Thompson, Kea Herewini and Justine Lavea, KK and Claudia who have all had involvements at some stage during the season are to be congratulated. The management of Steve Hersey also cannot be underestimated. An all-round complete Valley Fort effort!!

The U16 girls saw their season come to a close and the combination of girls which made up this team and the inclusion of the “Bright” girls will lead to further success in the years ahead. These  girls showed they can play a wonderful brand of Rugby if given the chance and Justine, KK, Claudia and Gary Oxley have worked very hard in ensuring Valley Fort had a place in the U16 competition

Whilst the win/loss ratio is not the only statistic that is important, what it does show is the coaching and improvement and performances of all out teams are something we can all be proud of. The success of any club is the sum of the collective. So many people who give up time and expertise to see our players flourish in a wonderful, supportive learning environment.

The U18 boys have continued their successful season, and this culminated in a dominant victory against Kowloon to claim the League title for the season. In what was a flawless first half the boys produced some wonderful running Rugby and their ability to maintain possession staved the opposition of the ball. 26-0 at half time was a clear indication of the comprehensive showing by the Valley boys. The 33-0 fulltime result places the team as first seed into the semi-finals of the Grand Championship at Happy Valley on January 9.  Whist we congratulate all those associated with the team we are fully aware that the job is not yet done, and huge games await us in the New Year.

It was nail biting stuff for the U18 Champs team the previous Sunday against Sandy Bay. The closeness of the game had everyone on edge and when the Valley Fort boys went ahead 3-0 late in the second half hopes were high. Unfortunately, a fantastic maul from a lineout in the dying seconds gave Sandy Bay the 5-3 victory and some valuable lesson for our boys.

The great news is the team closed out THT Lions/Gai Wu to claim second place on the ladder and therefore second seed into the Grand Championship semi-finals. A committed defensive display was the foundation for the win which will be the blueprint in the big games after the break.

Not enough can be said about the U16 Boys teams this season so far. Congratulations from everyone associated with the club for teams securing the League title last Sunday at Happy Valley.

Two totally dominant performances 57-7 (Prems) and 50-0 (Champs) were examples of the depth and quality of the squads giving then great confidence going into the semi-finals on Jan 9.

The exciting brand of Rugby they bring each week has been a pleasure to watch particularly as their skills have improved markedly across the season. The two teams play their semi-finals at THT.

I have been very impressed with the continued improvement of the U14 Boys squad as the season has progressed. The Rugby skills they are developing will only have them ready for some big performances in the 10s and 7s seasons after Christmas. Their defence and physicality are the biggest areas of improvement. Player depth has been an issue this season with all boys playing big minutes each week.

What a win by the U13 boys on Sunday against archrivals Sandy Bay. When this team clicks they are a great team to watch and can score some fantastic tries. Whilst at times a little inconsistent their ability to move the ball and break through teams is most impressive. They play a high paced high-risk game which has proven to be very successful. This group will continue with 15-a-side rugby into the New Year before finishing the season with 7s.

To everyone involved in Youth Rugby at Valley Fort. May I extend seasons greetings for a wonderful Christmas. Special thanks to Head of Youth Becky Maltas for her support but to all involved from team managers and pro coaches to our supporters. Enjoy the break and I look forward to more success in the New Year.

Merry Christmas.

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Minis On Field: Director of Rugby: 22nd December 2021

The Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam Tournaments continued this week giving great opportunities for our players to compete against other clubs. For U12 boys, an incredibly improved showing from the previous Rounds and the boys were very excited (as were parents) to see the success the team were having.

HKFC was the venue for the U12 Girls last Sunday where the Valley Fort Teams competed in every game. This was a terrific performance from all the players and coaching staff and managers who have put so much time and effort into the development of these girls and their skills.

Valley Fort hosted a number of other clubs at Happy Valley for our U5’s who loved the interactions with other players and not to mention a showing from the big man (Father Christmas) himself! Well done to Mike Iannini, our U5 head coach, along with Nick Carlsen for leading and organising this.

The remainder of our minis, both contact and non- contact continued their weekly training sessions at Hong Kong International School, Aberdeen and Happy Valley. The final session this Sunday may also include a surprise visit for the younger ones. I have it on good authority a special visitor will be dropping by a couple of the venues.

A huge thanks to all involved with the Minis program so far this year. 2022 will be a great year of further development and competition which hopefully will see a return to Friday Night training for our contact Minis. More on this in the New Year.

Enjoy the break and family time.

Merry Christmas.

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

Minis & Youth On Field: Director of Rugby: 7th January 2022

Happy New Year to all the Valley Fort Community and welcome to 2022.

The next few weeks were to be very exciting for both the Youth and Mini programs with finals, carnivals and new training venues for the players and social gatherings for the parents : all that makes Valley Fort a special club.

I want to take the opportunity to congratulate all 27 of our Youth players who represented the club on New Year’s Day at Hong Kong Football Club in the representative fixtures. The standard on the day was impressive and Valley Fort players clearly stood out in all the games with valuable contributions in tightly contested games across the board.

Unfortunately, the announcement this week from the Government and the directives we have been given from the Hong Kong Rugby Union means that all Rugby activities are suspended until further notice. This includes all fixtures and training at all venues – Government facilities and Schools. This is very disappointing for the entire Rugby community but is again a reminder of the world we currently live in. We will continue to keep the entire Valley Fort Community updated with information on the possible return to Rugby activities as soon as the information is received.

I encourage all players to maintain a level of fitness, if possible, runs, hikes, bodyweight exercises etc and hopefully we will be back out on the pitches in a couple of weeks.

Stay Safe.

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby, Valley Fort

Director of Rugby: 18th March 2022

As we all continue to navigate the situation here in Hong Kong, I wanted to take the opportunity to commend all those involved here at Valley Fort for the time and effort they have continued to put in to ensure as many of our players stay connected and engaged.

The last month has seen the establishment of our online “Sunday Sessions” and as I visit each session each week I am amazed at the enthusiasm and thought that has gone into each of these sessions by the coaches. From fitness, strength and skills to trivia and Rugby analysis the activities are varied and interactive. It has also been wonderful to see players from other mini clubs joining some of the sessions to get a taste of the Valley Fort community and what we can offer even in these difficult times. A special thanks to Harry Sayers for his establishment of base content and all the pro coaches and parent coaches who have committed so thoroughly to the concept.

As we head towards the off season, we can be optimistic that the 2022/23 season will be free of disruption and challenging and exciting as ever.

Coaches are looking to further their qualifications by completing courses during the downtime and more information will be coming regarding a Valley Fort Level One Coaching Course (World Rugby Accredited) for those interested.

Finally, I know many of our Valley Fort community will be travelling over the next few months. Can I thank you all for you wonderful contribution to the club this season, wish you the safest of travel and look forward to the next chapter of Valley Fort Rugby.

Yours in Rugby,
JC
Director of Rugby
Valley Fort Rugby Football Club

Director of Rugby: 4th April 2022

Last Sunday saw our final “Sunday Sessions” for this season. A huge thanks to all the players who took advantage to attend these sessions and stay connected with the club during these times. I know that many found them stimulating, tiring and at times mentally challenging but above all else, a heap of fun.

This newsletter will also see the publication of various Team Awards for this season (many were announced in the final Zoom sessions on Sunday). Each one of the recipients are to be congratulated for being recognised by their team management for their performances and effort throughout the season. What cannot be ignored however, is the team nature of rugby and none of these individual awards would be possible without the efforts of every single player in each squad. The collective effort allows some individuals to shine, so to all Valley Fort Rugby players – congratulations and well done on a terrific season.

A massive thanks again to all the coaches for all your efforts throughout the season. It has been a great insight for me into the real success of this club……it’s people and the coaches are at the forefront of that.

I also wish to thank the ExCom for their trust and faith in me and my role at the Club and fingers crossed for an uninterrupted 2022/23 season.

The news that Nov 4-6 we will se a return of the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is exciting and will see two within 5 months of each other. This will hopefully give the Rugby C\community here in Hong Kong a chance to finally come together again and celebrate this great game, we will keep you all updated on this as we hear more.

To those that are leaving the club, whether parents, players, coaches; thank you for your support of Valley Fort and you will always be part of this community and it goes without saying, will always be welcome back. Whatever your plans are I wish those departing all the best moving forward.

Yours In Rugby

JC

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort Rugby Football Cub

Director of Rugby: 2nd September 2022

Welcome everyone to the 2022/23 season. An additional welcome to all our new players and their families to the Valley Fort community and thank you for choosing our club. I am confident you will enjoy a long and enjoyable association with us in the years ahead.

To all those returning this season I trust you all had an enjoyable break and I know many took the opportunity to finally travel and catch up with family and friends for the first time in a few years. I too enjoyed time back in Australia. Now we are all refreshed and raring to go its exciting that the pre-season is upon us.

There are many new faces in the coaching ranks this season across all age group and I thank all the coaches who have departed for the wonderful service they gave Valley Fort and wish them all the best for their endeavours in the years ahead.

Having lost the use of Happy Valley 6 for the season and Aberdeen Sports Ground the scheduling has been a challenge yet huge thanks to Susan for putting together a schedule that is beneficial to all teams.

The focus this season remains the same for our coaching staff. Skill and game development in a learning and enjoyable environment which is inclusive for all. We will continue to strive to provide progressive developmental coaching sessions that aims to ensure the improvement of all players as the season progresses. Our experienced coaches are looking forward to coaching and challenging themselves as well.

Of course the exciting news is the return of the Hong Kong Sevens in November which will be a great boost for the sport of Rugby here in Hong Kong and will no doubt be a great spectacle and social event.

With fingers crossed we have an uninterrupted season I trust you will embrace all that Valley Fort has to offer and I look forward to meeting many of you as the season unfolds.

Yours in Rugby

JC

DOR Valley Fort RFC

Director of Rugby: 16th September 2022

Well, we are well and truly into pre-season mode right across the club and it has been fantastic to see the involvement from players, coaches, parents and supporters so early in the season.

The heat has been an issue and I am grateful to all the coaches who have adjusted training sessions to cater for this prolonged spell of very hot weather. The players safety and health is always the No 1 priority at Valley Fort.

I had the privilege of running a HKRU certified course for U5 – U8 parents last Sunday and was amazed at over 30 participants who wanted to learn more and be more involved in their son or daughters’ rugby journey. I look forward to our next session in two weeks’ time.

I want to thank everyone in the VF community for their understanding last week around a couple of the Youth sessions that could not be scheduled or were cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols. This may unfortunately occur again this season, but I encourage any players who suspect any symptoms to NOT attend training until symptom free.

As we approach festivals or friendlies with other clubs the coaching will ramp up the contact element of sessions. It is mandatory that any player taking part in contact activities wears a gum shield. There will be no exceptions for this. They are provided by the club so please contact the respective manager of you child’s team and you will be provided with one.

We look forward to the first social gathering of the year at the Hong Kong Cricket Club on September 24. What should be a great night of fun it is also an opportunity to get together away from the pitch and get to know each other better. I hope many of you can make it.

As mentioned earlier we are heading toward friendly fixtures in the next few weeks and the coaches have been doing a great job developing the skills base needed for each particular age group. With this in mind attendance at training becomes more important so that all players and at a similar stage of the training process.

Lets hope the weather cools a little soon and we can all continue to work hard and enjoy this wonderful game.

Yours in Rugby,

JC

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

HKRU First Aid Courses

Please see the below upcoming First Aid course details for your reference.

Please click the below link and follow the step for registration.

(HKRU homepage > Get involved > Medical > Courses & Presentation > First Aid in Sports (FIS) > Register)

https://www.hkrugby.com/courses/level-1-first-aid-in-sports-course-for-clubs-2022-sep-oct

25 Sep 2022 (Sun) English

Capacity: 12 pax

Course time: 9am – 4:30pm (7.5hours)

15 Oct 2022 (Sat) English

Capacity: 12 pax

Course time: 9am – 4:30pm (7.5hours)

15 Oct 2022 (Sat) Cantonese

Capacity: 12 pax

Course time: 9am – 4:30pm (7.5hours)

22 Oct 2022 (Sat) Cantonese

Capacity: 12 pax

Course time: 9am – 4:30pm (7.5hours)

If you have any questions, please contact lydia.yu@hkrugby.com .

Item #2: TEE OFF AT SHEK O!

Enjoy a round of golf at the ultra-exclusive and beautiful Shek-O Country Club Golf Course for 3 lucky golfers – liquid refreshments included of course (and on course).

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Additional Details: Peter Goulston will host you at this exclusive members only Club.

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: Invaluable – Members only access

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contact Peter Goulston!

Item #1: HOLD ON TIGHT!

Your very own speedboat (a brand new Karnic SL701) for a day for 10 people which will take you wherever you want to go. Lunch at Po Toi? Beach hopping? Swimming and drinks? You can do it all (between 12-6pm that is!).

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Additional Details: Captain Nick will be on standby to take you if you don’t have your own captain!

Restrictions: N/A (Total time 6 hours but start and end times may be adjusted).

Market Value: $12,000 (including Captain!)

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contact Nick & Su Ritter!

Item #4: SURF’S UP!

For up to 6 adrenaline junkies, spend two hours Wakesurfing or Wakeboarding around every corner of the exclusive Repulse Bay. If you have never tried it before, the captain will be there to teach you. If you have, then spend the time showing off (to the at least to other 5 people you bring with you)!

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Additional Details: Find out more on their website or check them out on @wakesurf.playershk.

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $3,600

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Wakesurf Players and contact Mike Padarin!

Item #5: THE FINEST WINES KNOWN TO HUMANITY!

From renouned wine producer Michiel Eradus comes a true one – off opportunity, the Sjacru Special Reserve Pinot Noir Eradus 2015. This amazing wine was bottled only in Magnums and produced only once. Inspired from what he learned from his time in burgundy and picked from just two rows of vines in New Zealand’s Waipara region, you wont want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to get your hands on one of the three Magnums we have.

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Additional Details: Each Magnum will be auctioned off individually so the price is an individual bid if for one Magnum.

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $750 per Magnum

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Corney & Barrow and contact Thibaut Mathieu!

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Item #6: ESCAPE FROM IT ALL!

Well……escape from the kids anyway. Spoil yourself with a night of luxury in a Superior Room at the Mandarin Oriental with breakfast included.

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Additional Details: N/A

Restrictions: Available Sunday to Thursday only. Valid for 6 months, blackout dates may apply.

Market Value: $4,000

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets via the Valley Fort App for a chance of winning!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and contact Craig & Lisa Beattie!

Item #7: QUIET PLEASE!

Once you made your choice of brand new tennis racket and accessories from the amazing Babalot range, you can use it to refine your silky skills with an hours tennis lesson at HKCC.

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Additional Details: Tennis racquet and accessories can be chosen up to a value of $3,000!

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $3,850

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets via the Valley Fort App for a chance of winning!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contacts Oliver & Cynthia Kadhim as well as Coach Jason at HKCC!

Item #8: IT’S A SAUSAGE FEST!

After an evening of free flow beer and wine it’s sausage time. Once the Steak King experts have taught you how to make the perfect banger, their expert chef will even cook them for you. If that’s not enough, there will be plenty more sausage at home (up to a Kilo to take home anyway).

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Additional Details: N/A

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $2,500

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets via the Valley Fort App for a chance of winning!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contact Brandon at Steak King.

Item #9: IT’S NOT QUITE BREAKFAST AND IT’S NOT QUITE LUNCH

Yes, its Brunch. Yes it’s the renouned Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar Brunch. And yes, you can bring a friend as it’s a brunch for two.

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Additional Details: N/A

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $1,500

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets via the Valley Fort App for a chance of winning!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Landmark Mandarin and contact Craig & Lisa Beattie.

Item #10: BEACHED!

Take a speedboat boat trip for two to the white sands of Ham Tin beach. Known as Hong Kong’s answer to the Maldives, what better place to spend a glorious day in the sun?

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Additional Details: 2 round trip tickets on Ham Tin Long Speedboat.

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $500

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets via the Valley Fort App for a chance of winning!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contact Alison @ Ham Tin Long Speedboat.

Item #12: IT’S BACK ON AND YOU ARE INVITED

Enjoy the long awaited comeback of the Hong Kong Sevens in style. With two Adult tickets for all 3 days! You can bring along your brand new Valley Fort umbrella, water bottles, beer coolers and Rugby ball which you will also receive as a part of this prize.

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Additional Details: N/A

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $4,000

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Item #3: TAKE A MULLIGAN AT CLEARWATER BAY!

For those that have never played this beautiful, windswept coastal golf course, this opportunity for 4 guests to play a round is a must. For those that have, grab this chance to beat your last score (and find a few of your lost golf balls!). 

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Additional Details: Handicap Certificate must be shown and a Hong Kong Drivers License for those who want to hire a buggy!

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: Invaluable (exclusive members only club)

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor contact Simon and Amy Beckingham.

Item #11: I MIGLIORI VINI PER LE MENTI MIGLIORI……..

…………..which as each genius quiz winner will know, means ‘the finest wines for the finest minds’. For every member of the winning quiz team will take home a magnum of 2015 Le Cupole, a delicious bordeaux style wine from Tuscany. Share a bottle with friends over a steak dinner whilst you regale them with stories of your famous Valley Fort Curry Night Quiz victory.

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Additional Details: Each Magnum will be awarded to a team member.

Restrictions: N/A

Market Value: $620 per Magnum

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Corney & Barrow and contact Thibaut Mathieu!

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Item#13: GORGEOUS DARLING!

From the fabulous Zoko Jewelry, this beautiful set includes a freshwater pearl double cuff, round freshwater pearl pendant and a link chain bracelet with necklace perfect for layering. It’s pearl and 18K gold plate over sterling silver.

What more could a girl want?!

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Market Value: $2000

Find more of Zoko Jewelry designs by following them on Instagram @zokojewelry!

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Can’t join us? Don’t forget to email us at info@valleyfort.com with your MAXIMUM BID so we can place it on the night for you!

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Thank you to Valley Fort donor Sue Ballard, Zoko Jewelry.

Director of Rugby: 8th October 2022

At last, the severe heat is leaving us as we move into the final month of pre-season. It has been great to see all our Valley Fort teams training across the various venues and on Sunday the U16 and U18 Boys had their first trial fixtures against Sandy Bay which gave a great indication of how the teams are progressing one month out from the Competition beginning. 

I have had the pleasure of delivering the U8 non-contact course to 30+ parents who wish to be involved with their children at the non-contact mini stage. The enthusiasm has been tremendous, and all participants will have a greater understanding of the challenges of coaching but also be able to actively get involved with their child’s development in Rugby. 

More positive news is the securing of the South Island School for the contact minis on Friday evening between 6pm and 8pm. It has been a few years since these groups have had the opportunity to train on Friday night, so I look forward to seeing the number for these sessions grow over coming weeks. 

All team managers will be communicating next week about the fixture draw for the Youth competition which begins on October 30th. The final version of this draw will be release on Monday. That date will be a huge day for the club as it is also Tiger Fest for the Minis and the start of the Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam competitions for the U12 Boys and Girls, respectively. 

Over the next week we will also see kit distribution for all teams so there is so much going on around the club as the excitement builds to competition. 

I would like to take the opportunity to mention all our wonderful pro coaches who themselves are preparing for the senior season to begin this week. Their efforts are appreciated but from my perspective as I go around and see their sessions and talk to players and parents it’s their manner and demeanor and their coaching processes which are just so impressive. 

The coaches have been provided with the development pathway for skills at each age group in the club and they are providing quality session in line with this skill development as well as preparing the collective group for competition. I am excited to see how each team continues to prosper under such outstanding coaching. 

We are also just a month away from the Sevens returning and I know Susan will have more on that in the newsletter. It will be wonderful to see elite Rugby back in Hong Kong over what will be a fantastic weekend in November. 

Finally good luck to all the teams involved in pre-season competition in coming weeks and I know that Valley Fort will continue to produce quality representation both on and off the pitch. 

Yours in Rugby 

JC 

Director of Rugby 

Valley Fort RFC 

Director of Rugby: 22nd October 2022

After what seems to have been a very long pre-season, we have finally reached the start of the 2022/23 Rugby season. This weekend sees the Youth girls begin their fixtures and next Sunday the Boys season gets underway. That of course coincides with the first Minis festival, Tigerfest and the initial rounds of the Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam competitions.

So there is a lot going on!!

In fantastic news for Valley Fort, we are now partnered with other clubs to ensure we are represented in ALL girls age groups this season. This means Valley Fort will have players competing in the U18, U16, U14, U12 and U10 age divisions. This is a wonderful result for the club, and I would especially like to thank Kea Herewini and KK Wong for the effort they put in to negotiate these alliances and coaching these girls to be part of our Rugby family.

I am pleased to see that all the teams have been prepared well for the start of their respective competitions and it is the outstanding coaching our players receive that ensures they are ready. I am fortunate to see all teams working during the week and on Sundays to prepare and the work the coaches have done is just amazing. Where our players have come in this pre-season is a testament to the excellent training sessions undertaken and the commitment of all the Valley Fort Coaches.

As we start the competition phase of the season I would like to take the opportunity to remind all the Valley Fort community of the expectations the club has on side-line behaviours. We always provide positive support for all players and officials. We don’t support negative comments and behaviours in any way. In simple terms let the referees referee and the players play. Whilst we often see the behaviour of other clubs supporters less than acceptable we at Valley Fort strive to be an example to others.

Finally, a huge congratulations and good luck to U18 pro coach Luke Van de Smit as he departs for Dubai with the Hong Kong team attempting to qualify for the 2023 World Cup in France. A tough month of rugby awaits Luke and the team, but we will all be supporting him from here.

Good luck to all teams either stating their seasons or putting final touches on preparations and of course only two weeks to the Hong Kong Sevens!!

Yours in Rugby

Justin Carroll

Director of Rugby

Valley Fort RFC

Director of Rugby: 4th November 2022

As I write this newsletter there is a definite buzz in the city with the Hong Kong Sevens getting underway later this afternoon. To see a return of International Rugby will be a great boost not only to Hong Kong but to the sport here as we return from such disruptive years.

With the pre-season now behind us the fixtures were well and truly underway last weekend. All sections of our club were involved in competition against the other Youth and Mini Clubs here in Hong Kong.

The premier team of Valley Fort, the U18 Youth Boys, began their season in emphatic fashion with a dominant win over HKFC to set a standard for the competition this season. The U13/14 boys, who have worked particularly hard to combine in the off season, were ecstatic with their come from behind victory over arch-rival Sandy Bay.

The girls’ competitions also began on a positive note with the combined U16 girls going undefeated in three fixtures and the U14 Girls also registering strong performances and tasting success on two occasions.

Whist these results are a great achievement to start the season it is only the beginning and all teams musty realise that our aim here at Valley Fort is to be better each time we train and play. I know all the coaches will be working at further improvements in the weeks following the break for the HK 7s.

The Minis, both contact and non – contact also began competition last week with the Tigerfest at Kings Park and the Richard Hawkes and Kim lam tournaments getting underway at HKU Sandy Bay.

The U12 boys were dominant in their efforts in the first Round of the Richard Hawkes Competition with some excellent skills and teamwork on show. I have witnessed first – hand the work these boys have been doing with the Pro Coaches and assistants and it is evident in the way their game is developing.

The Kim Lam competition for our U12 girls also began with them breing competitive in all fixtures with several great performances. This group will continue to improve and will be a strong presence in this competition.

The Minis festival was a fantastic display of fun and competition for our youngest players and the smiles on faces showed what a great day was had by all. The older age groups competed well against the other clubs in a clear display of developing rugby skill which can be attributed to the productive training sessions run by the coaches.

The full training schedule will return next week following the Sevens and we will then have an uninterrupted run into the Christmas Break.

The National Age Group Training for U19 and U16 will be established at this time to prepare for the annual New years Day fixtures. More details regarding this will be coming in the days/weeks ahead.

I hope for all of you heading to the stadium this weekend enjoys the return of International Rugby and on behalf of Valley Fort we wish the HK team all the best in what is a very difficult pool. Personally, I look forward to the last match of Friday’s program where HK take on Australia. Split allegiances!!

Yours in Rugby

JC

DOR Valley Fort RFC

Director of Rugby: 20th November 2022

What a celebration of Rugby we saw with the return of the Hong Kong Sevens the weekend before last. It has certainly lifted the spirits of the city. To see all our Minis taking part in the showcase events and then take the short walk across to the stadium for the Sevens was just fantastic. I personally cannot wait for the 2023 edition which, by all reports, should be back to normal with the famous Minis march past and games inside the stadium itself.

As it was my first experience of the Hong Kong Sevens, I can now see what an amazing event it is and what it does for the Rugby community here in Hong Kong. I, of course, was particualy happy to see worthy winners Australia defeating the mighty Fijians in an epic final!!

With the Sevens now behind us, the Youth Leauges and training preparation for the Minis Festivals returned for all our teams on Sunday.

For Youth, a special mention to our U16 boys finally began their season this past weekend at HKFC with a tough game. Some interesting scheduling has resulted in their first fixture not being until November 20! After no losses this season so far, the U18 boys suffered one in a competitive game against Kowloon while the U13/14 boys took a win in a close match against SSP. The U14 girls continued their season against HKFC with a brave performance while the U16 girls had training.

On the Minis front, there have been several parents completing their “Non-Contact Coaching ‘certificates which I will have the pleasure of presenting in the next couple of weeks. It’s fantastic to see so many parents wanting to involve themselves in the club at such a practical level. In the coming weeks the focus will shift to the Tackle License and Coacharee Courses for specific age group coaches and parents. More information will be coming on these. The Minis will continue to work towards the Sandy Bay Festival on December 4th before heading into the Christmas Break.

Finally, I  wanted to refer to some instances of unsavoury behaviour both on and off the pitch which has occurred in recent weeks. Thankfully, and not unexpectedly, none of these involve members of the Valley Fort community. As a club we simply will not tolerate poor side line behaviour from parents/supporters/coaches or players and certainly do not condone any on-field violence by any of our players. At a recent meeting of the HKRU I, again, mentioned the “cauldron” like atmosphere that is allowed to take place and many of our venues by having spectators/coaches and substitute players encroaching side lines, and on many occasions on, to the field of play during fixtures. Whilst I understand that this is very much a “Hong Kong” way of doing things it does promote a tense and pressurised atmosphere for both players and officials. I ask that as a club we are an example to all other clubs in continuing to stand back (at least 2-3ms) where physically possible and only promote encouragement of both players and officials. Regardless of what other clubs choose to accept, Valley Fort should always be a positive example to others.

I can also report this week that we continue to see new players joining our club at all levels. I hope that it may be by witnessing Valley Fort in action or through positive word of mouth around the community. Whichever it is we welcome all these new families and players to our community and hope you enjoy all that Valley Fort has to offer.

Best of luck to all teams this week and I look forward to seeing you at the Club’s Christmas Party at the Beach on December 11.

Yours in Rugby

JC

DOR Valley Fort RFC