08 Apr 13
Anna Healy Fenton
The Charitable Trust was inaugurated in 1993 to provide assistance for players in the Hong Kong rugby community in two important areas, education and injury treatment. The Trust is funded by the proceeds from the annual Sevens Long Lunch, donations from the big screen message board at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and individual donations on a year-round basis.
The primary objective of the Fund is to support the educational needs of local youths who demonstrate both potential and a high degree of interest in rugby. Each scholarship is tenable for a maximum of five years in primary, secondary or tertiary education, subject to the successful applicant achieving satisfactory academic progress and good conduct in their school.
In 2011/12 over 80 boys and girls were awarded scholarships with over HK$600,000 distributed.
Many graduates from the Trust have gone on to make their mark in the rugby community, including achieving full national representative honours. One of these players, Andy Yuen Kin-ho, was recognised today as part of the HKRFU's 60th anniversary commemorations.
To mark 60 years of Hong Kong Rugby, the HKRFU is launching a commemorative cap campaign for players who have previously represented the senior Hong Kong team in international rugby. Over the next six months, players from each of the last six decades will be awarded with retroactive caps for being selected to represent Hong Kong.
The HKRFU has commissioned two designs of cap, one for the pre-1997 colony players and one for those who became national players post-1997. One player from each era was recognized at this year's Long Lunch, Andy Yuen Kin-ho and Dave Lewis.
Andy Yuen Kin-ho made his debut for Hong Kong at both sevens and fifteens in 2002, going on to feature consistently in the Hong Kong team over the next six seasons before hanging up his boots following the test against Tunisia in April 2008. Yuen was also a key member of the Sevens squad that took part in the 2007 Asian Games in Qatar and played in the Hong Kong Sevens in 2006.
A product of the successful HKRFU development programme, Andy Yuen started his rugby career at Shatin Shapei mini rugby club, before playing youth and seniors with DeA Tigers and later Valley RFC.
He was among the first recipients of financial support from the Charitable Trust and today works for the HKRFU as a National Player Development Officer and is on the coaching staff of the Hong Kong Women's Sevens team.
Dave Lewis, a Chief Inspector of Police had a representative career that spanned an amazing three decades. He first donned the national jersey in 1989 when he found himself propping against a young Craig Dowd in a game against a side of up and coming All Blacks on their way to the UK, and capped his career with an appearance against the Penguins in a 2003 match commemorating the HKRFU's 50th anniversary.
In that span, Lewis played a total of 55 times for Hong Kong and also represented Hong Kong at ten-aside and sevens. Lewis was a cornerstone of the Hong Kong teams that enjoyed historic success in the Pacific Rim tournament of the late 1990s, recording wins against Japan, the USA and Canada in the era. Lewis still plays rugby for the Police club and is an Honorary Life Member of the HKRFU.
The HKRFU will recognize more players with the awarding of caps each month through April 2013. If you know of a player in the last 60 years who you believe deserves a cap having represented Hong Kong in a full international, please can you contact - firstname.lastname@example.org