This year, when planning for the HKU Sandy Bay RFC Minis Festival, we wanted to give back to those less fortunate, involve our close community, and to actively reduce the environmental impacts of gathering 10,000 people together.
Clive Hammond from Kowloon RFC, explained to us about the great work that the Laos Rugby Federation is doing, with very little funding, to grow the sport in their country. We saw the festival as a great opportunity to support Laos Rugby in the following ways:
Kit donation: We asked our HKU Sandy Bay RFC community and all the visiting rugby clubs to bring along surplus rugby shirts, shorts, socks, boots and sports bras, in order for these to be given to much-needed rugby teams in Laos. We had a great response to this request, amassing 204 kgs of kit which included 37 pairs of boots, 7 sports bras and a huge amount of clean, high-quality jerseys and shorts. Laos Rugby is expanding their work into a new Province and the need for the quality gear continues to grow.
Medals: We decided to award medals just to the non-contact age-groups (U5 – U8), enabling the money that would have gone to the contact age-groups, to be made as a cash donation directly to Laos. This amounted to $7250 HKD
Vendor support: We asked our vendors to support with donations or reduced rates on rugby items. Robin Wright of Streamline Sports very kindly donated 2 large boxes of brand new rugby balls, scrum caps and mouthguards.
Cake sale: Last but not least, we asked the HKU Sandy Bay RFC community to bake cakes for sale at our Festival, again, with all monies going to Laos. This raised a huge $8046 HKD
In total, we will be able to donate $15,296 HKD to Laos Rugby, a great achievement. A huge thank you to all that donated, and volunteered, to make this possible.
Along with our charity effort, we made a conscious effort to care about the environment and reduce plastic, which included:
No single-use water bottles at our clubhouse
- Worked with our Food & Beverage companies to eliminate single-use plastics at all of their outlets
- Worked with our medal supplier so our medals were delivered without individual plastic bags
- Used labels/string to group the team's medals, eliminating the use of zip-loc bag
- Worked with HKU team at Stanley Ho to mark the pitches with chalk, avoiding the use of metres of plastic tape and plastic-covered sandbags.
We hope this is just the start of many efforts to come in supporting and developing rugby, and caring about our environment.