Filipinos in Hong Kong turn out in numbers for a Philippine Rugby recruitment day
Close to sixty Filipino rugby players turned out recently at a talent identification day in Hong Kong, all in the name of rugby and being proudly Pinoy.
Philippine Rugby, in close partnership with Hong Kong Rugby, joined forces with the aim to bring more rugby opportunities to Filipinos abroad.
After a successful recruitment day in Brisbane in September that saw close to 15 players identified, Hong Kong showed up in numbers with a record turnout of over 60 participants.
“An amazing turnout, we expected a higher number in Hong Kong with the amount of Filipinos residing there, but to reach over 50 was very pleasing to see and across all ages. A big thanks to HKRU and the Pot Bellied Pigs Rugby Club for the support on the day” shared Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
The talent identification and recruitment day is one of the strategies implemented due to the ongoing pandemic, which has also now set an annual platform to better serve the global recruitment drive of Philippine Rugby.
“Philippine Rugby and the Volcanoes is a global family, and we want to engage with Filipinos across the Philippines and across the world. This strategy helps our brand grow globally, and gives a reason for Filipinos to be proud of” added Letts.
The open training session was led by Volcanoes Kate Palis and Rob Luceno Fogerty, both Filipinos who have represented the national program alongside members and coaches of Hong Kong Rugby Union.
"The Hong Kong stop of the Philippine Rugby Talent ID day was an incredible success. The overwhelming positive feedback from participants and their family and friends were absolutely heart warming. I could not think of a greater first step in the long term development of the Filipino Rugby community in Hong Kong. Now that we have identified the players, we can move forward with rugby clinics and possible regular rugby trainings together to enhance the skillsets and to really keep the community thriving as they play local rugby in their respective clubs" shared Palis. The aim of the day was to not only identify Philippine talent but also look at a possible international fixture with Hong Kong Rugby in the near future. Both Unions have partnered in the past to help foster development programs.
“Prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong Rugby would send their Junior and Senior Dragons Programs to the Philippines, it was an avenue for players to play international rugby and develop their skills. This is a similar approach, however, catered towards Filipinos playing and residing in Hong Kong. We want to continue our close partnership, and build on rugby opportunities for each Union” Letts shared.
After the successful turnout, the program will move to more training and events, with the first being scheduled for next week to build on the momentum of the recent talent identification day.
“We have arranged with Hong Kong Rugby another two open trials and open training sessions before Christmas, we want to build the engagement and see how much interest there is to continue the program in Hong Kong. Overall our Union promotes the game of Rugby, so if there are opportunities to play we will see what that may potentially look like” added Letts.
Philippine Rugby had players residing in the United Kingdom participate across four tournaments in the summer, an avenue for this program if scheduled matches and competitions are able to be arranged in Hong Kong.
“Overall we would be looking at potential matches against Hong Kong Teams if the interest is there and even enter social competitions in Hong Kong if we are able to enter a team” Letts shared.
Philippine Rugby is also looking to finally return to rugby within the country, after close to two years without a domestic match the Union has applied to return to contact training officially within the Philippines. Dates of the 2022 calendar season will be announced when approval has been granted.
For more information on Philippine Rugby you may visit www.philippines.rugby