From 22 kids at the first ever Stingrays training session to 655 players and 148 coaches today, Sai Kung Stingrays reaches a big milestone this year – its 10th anniversary. The club was founded by a small group of parents in Sai Kung in 2006 when they saw a gap for rugby in Hong Kong. It is now one of the largest clubs for girls and boys’ mini’s (under-8’s) in Hong Kong and has launched a netball team. Future plans for Sai Kung Stingrays include developing a seniors team and branching out into different sports. As the club celebrates its ten year anniversary, we ask the people involved how they will commemorate the occasion.
What has made Sai Kung Stingrays so successful? Our kids and their parents! We are supported by a passionate committee who volunteer for absolutely no glory whatsoever, coaches who forego a cherished lie-in to impart experience, enthusiasm and energy to your and my sons and daughters.
What have been some of the fondest memories? Seeing some of our kids go on to play representative rugby both in Hong Kong and abroad is very special. Also, who can forget the sea of blue and pink that walks around the Hong Kong Stadium pitch during the parade at the Hong Kong Sevens!
What are some of the challenges you have encountered in the last ten years? Definitely pitch space and the administration that comes with organising 655 players in 16 teams in over half a dozen locations throughout the territory. Oh, and kitting them out…
What are some of the proudest achievements from the last ten years? From the start we have developed and championed girls rugby in Hong Kong. Our rugby alumni – girls and boys – have gone on to play for Hong Kong, and most recently, England. But perhaps our proudest achievement is recognising what an important role mini rugby plays in our kids’ social development. Our sponsors tell us they honoured to be associated with the club, and that is humbling.
How is Sai Kung Stingrays’ celebrating their 10th anniversary? We are holding a 10th anniversary ball in May for members of Sai Kung Stingrays (more details to come). We also have a new range of commemorative merchandise available online through our kit supplier www.kukrisports.hk/teamshop/saikungstingrays
What does the club hope to achieve this year and in the next ten years? The club is still growing – we want to encourage more local kids to play rugby. We want to offer more sports and we hope to get our own home pitch. We’d also like to see some Stingray players represent Hong Kong in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!
Whom would you like to thank? Thanks must go to the Hong Kong Rugby Union for their support of grassroots rugby in Hong Kong, especially in youth and mini rugby. Hong Kong is very fortunate to have such strong rugby leadership.
For more information or to get involved, contact email@example.com or visit www.saikungstingrays.org. Alternatively, head down to the stadium on a training day and the committee members will be pleased to help.