Sunday March 17th, 2013
Hong Kong’s annual Rugby Week got off to a spectacular start this weekend with team Borrelli Walsh Tigers being crowned Champions of the Prudential Hong Kong Beach 5s following two days of intense competition at Repulse Bay. Localiiz was there to grab all the action!
The DEA Tigers team beat Hong Kong Scottish 5-3 in a closely fought battle to lift the trophy in the 16-team men’s competition. Speaking at the Winner’s Presentation, team captain, Rob Cleary summed up his team’s achievement in a word, “Fantastic”, before continuing, “It’s been a long weekend but good fun. There was some good competition out there but the team was on it. Great atmosphere and good to have the girls involved as well.”
The hotly contested eight-team women’s tournamet saw team Valley Black come out on top following their 5-1 victory over fellow club team Valley Red. And in the Netball competition, it was Pretty to Watch that claimed the winner’s trophy following their 9-6 victory over Linklaters in the 32-team tournament.
The results brought to a close a spectacular weekend at Hong Kong’s iconic Repulse Bay in the first official event of Hong Kong’s annual Rugby Week. With more than 800 competitors and a newly added charity dodgeball tournament, the Prudential Hong Kong Beach 5s is the region’s biggest beach rugby tournament. But it wasn’t all balls and testosterone, as an estimated 13,000 spectators of all ages came down to watch the spectacle and enjoy the carnival atmosphere.
Earlier in the day, spectators welcomed two rugby legends in the form of Fijian all-time great Waisale Serevi and former England captain and record Sevens points scorer Ben Gollings. The pair ran a coaching clinic with the Under-12s rugby teams before settling in to enjoy the party.
Speaking at the Prudential Hong Kong Beach 5s, Serevi said, “This is what I want to do now – to give back to rugby. Rugby’s given me a lot in life and this is my opportunity to give something back.”
When asked what advice he’d give young players today, Serevi added, “Make sure you make use of the opportunities you get and don’t waste them, and secondly, train hard. If you want to be a good player then you need to be training two or three times a day.”
His former adversary Ben Gollings added, “It’s a little soft under-foot out there but it’s great. Hong Kong’s got a fantastic rugby culture and for these kids it’s a great place to come and learn the skills of the game. For me, it’s a home from home, and the support that we still get when we come here is quite incredible.”
Commenting on the weekend’s festivities, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, Barry Stowe, said, “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic weekend at the Prudential Hong Kong Beach 5s. Over the last two days we’ve witnessed some 250 sporting contests, seen more than 800 participants and welcomed some 13,000 spectators to Repulse Bay. Congratulations to the winners and to everybody that has taken part. We very much hope that all the spectators have enjoyed the festival atmosphere as much as we have. We’d like to extend our thanks to TCOB Events and we look forward to returning in 2014.”
Event organiser Alex Brazendale, Director of TCOB Events, added, “The interest that has been shown in this year’s event has been fantastic. We set out to create a beach festival of sport that Hong Kong can be very proud of, and with the support of our sponsors and event partners, we’ve certainly achieved that.”
“We’ve had a full complement of teams and have seen more than 13,000 spectators make their way down to the beach over the last two days to enjoy the atmosphere. We’d like to think we’ve got Hong Kong’s Rugby Week off to a good start.”
The first Beach 5s was introduced to Hong Kong in 2011. It has attracted more than 1,800 participants and 25,000 spectators to date. Prudential Hong Kong Beach 5s, organised by TCOB Events, will return in March 2014.
Check out all the beautiful people at Hong Kong Beach 5s in the promotional video