Jim Hamilton and the Cambodian Deaf Rugby Team Visit.
This week Breakthrough were involved with the HKRFU and our title sponsors, Standard Chartered, in the visit of big Jim Hamilton and the Cambodian deaf rugby team.
One of the HKRFU community rugby champions is Jim Hamilton who has played 66 times for Scotland and currently plays for the European champions, Saracens. At 6’ 10” he is a giant of a man and it is hard to believe that his grandmother is Chinese and his mum was born in HK, which of course explains his connection to the SAR. His visit started with a cocktail reception hosted by the HKRFU and Ray, one of our Breakthrough lads now playing premiership rugby for HK Scottish presented him with a souvenir. Big Jim commented that Ray was about the same size as his Grandma – genes are a funny old thing!
Jim’s visit coincided with a visit from the Cambodian deaf rugby team for a tag rugby match with the HK deaf team, who are coached by Gunny, the Breakthrough coach. The visit was sponsored by Standard Chartered our own sponsors and so we also entered a team. So yesterday afternoon, on the hottest day of the year so far we were treated to a fun afternoon of tag rugby. Jim came to meet the teams and played for both the HK deaf team and Breakthrough. To give our lads an idea of the difficulties the deaf participants face, we wore ear plugs. The Cambodians were particularly quick and agile and of course totally unfazed by the heat.
It was great fun and a great opportunity for the Cambodian lads.
Meanwhile the Breakthrough boys and girls continue to train every Wednesday and on Friday 8 July from 4-6pm we start our summer course for youngsters who have never played before. This runs every Friday in July and August. So far we have 60 signed up and hopefully will get a few more by the time it starts. This is our main recruiting programme for boys and girls to replace those leaving school and moving on. Many of those leaving are going to continue playing rugby, which is of course pleasing, although unfortunately many jobs require the boys and girls to work most Saturdays and so for some this is probably the end of their rugby, but hopefully their experience with Breakthrough will have helped them get to where they are today.