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
DOR Valley Fort RFC