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By ARU Media Unit
Representatives from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) Sydney, NSW Rugby Union, the NSW Waratahs and the Australian Women’s Sevens team gathered today for a kick off ceremony for the Hong Kong NSW Secondary School Rugby Sevens Championship 2014 at Forshaw Rugby Park, Sylvania Waters.
Maddi Elliott represented the Australian Women's Sevens team with the ceremony marking the partnership between HKETO and NSW Rugby Union for the second year and signifying the close sporting and cultural ties between Hong Kong and Australia.
Officiating at the ceremony, HKETO Deputy Director Bernard Lo said the sponsorship was a natural fit considering the popularity of Sevens in both Australia and Hong Kong.
“In addition to the annual Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong has a lot more to offer. HKETO wants to ensure Hong Kong is at the forefront of young Australians’ minds when it comes to sports, academics and culture,” he added.
“We are happy to have HKETO’s participation. It helps promote rugby on a local community level,” said NSW Waratahs lock Jed Holloway, who plays for the Southern Districts club in Sylvania, where the announcement took place.
NSW Rugby Union Operations Manager Michael Doyle welcomed the sponsorship, saying it will raise the profile of rugby among students in the state.
“We’re very excited HKETO has continued sponsoring the championship and extended it to include girls’ teams this year. With sevens making its debut in the 2016 Summer Olympics, this initiative will help generate further interest in our sport, ” he said.
HKETO’s sponsorship includes the state-wide secondary school sevens play-offs currently underway and the championship finals to be held on Thursday 11 September 2014 at the Narrabeen Academy of Sports and Recreation.
Also on board as sponsors for the championship finals are Hong Kong Tourism Board, Cathay Pacific and HSBC Bank.
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.