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Rugby: Po Leung Kuk girls selected for Touraid U13 Festival in England

Girls from Po Leung Kuk’s rugby programme will travel to England in March for the inaugural Touraid Under 13 International Girls’ Rugby Festival.

Girls from Po Leung Kuk’s rugby programme will travel to England in March for the Touraid Under 13 Girls’ Rugby Festival.

February 7, 2014:  A group of 10 young ladies from the Po Leung Kuk residential care centres in Hong Kong are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime as they look ahead to next month’s inaugural Touraid Under 13 International Girls’ Rugby Festival in England.

 

The event, which will be held from March 5-15, is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8.

 

The Hong Kong team will join seven other groups from around the world, travelling from Brazil, Colombia, India, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Swaziland and Uganda, who will all be hosted by UK schools and experience home-stays with local families during the tour.

 

The girls will participate in a tag rugby competition at Allianz Park on March 11, while other activities will include a day playing netball at Surrey Sports Park, a typical school day at Hockerill Anglo-European College, team building with Surrey University Business School and a trip to No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s office.

 

To mark International Women’s Day, there will be a special event at which all 80 girls will have the opportunity to show off aspects of their own culture with traditional costumes, music and dance.

 

Michelle McEwan, Director of Studies at the Po Leung Kuk Language Training Centre, paid tribute to Touraid for offering such valuable opportunities to youngsters from challenging backgrounds.

 

“This has already been a life-changing experience for the girls in many ways,” McEwan said. “Not only have they been learning how to play tag rugby and netball but they’ve also had to apply for passports and prepare themselves for their first foreign trip and – for most of them – their first flight. I have no doubt they will come back full of confidence and self-esteem, and having made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

 

Andy Berry, CEO of Touraid, added: “We are delighted to be organising our first Girls’ Rugby Festival with Premiership Rugby and believe passionately that the time is right to re-dress the balance and give girls across the globe the same opportunities we have afforded the boys.

 

“All the UK host schools fully understand the wider educational impact for their pupils and we are thrilled that so many will be engaged in the amazing itinerary. We believe passionately that what goes on tour no longer stays on tour – it stays with you for life.”

 

Rugby first arrived in the Po Leung Kuk residential centres in 2011. In 2012 the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) embarked on a three-year partnership to extend rugby into Po Leung Kuk’s mainstream schools, which number more than 100 throughout the territory.

 

Macquarie Bank and the Foreign Correspondents Club Charity Committee fund the programme, which is named ‘Tackling Life’ and now includes an annual Rugby Fun Day and a Primary School competition with eight participating schools.

 

Po Leung Kuk students have been hosted at the famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and instructed in special coaching clinics by the Scotland Sevens team, while Po Leung Kuk staff have enjoyed team-building activities led by HKRFU coaches.

 

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Source: Hong Kong Rugby Football Union

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