Give it the old college try

Education | Natasha Tai 12 Oct 2021

Launched in 2017, the HSBC Try Rugby Programme has now established a new e-learning platform, providing educational training content to teach children and teenagers life skills through touch rugby.

Created by HSBC, Hong Kong Rugby Union and HKEDU, the program serves as a learning opportunity for Hong Kong students in primary and secondary schools.

Believing that not all learning takes place in the classroom, the program provides resources, education and training for all schools taking part to help them better incorporate rugby into their physical education curriculum.

"Other than promoting physical well-being, it helps develop valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, diversity and leadership - many of the core values HSBC aims to support in the communities it serves," said HSBC.

Despite being a sport that few people are familiar with, touch rugby is easy to learn and even easier to play. As it does not include tackling, and is slower in pace than regular rugby, it is suitable for all ages and genders.

This makes touch rugby the ideal group activity for players to maintain their physical health, develop bonds and social skills, and to learn different values and life lessons.

Physical education is more important than ever - as students are remaining indoors as a result of the pandemic - and touch rugby is a sport with limited physical contact that everyone can enjoy. "With the pandemic limiting physical activities and events, HSBC hopes to launch the new e-learning platform so children, parents and teachers can access resources and videos and learn about rugby anytime, anywhere," said HSBC.

In addition to the launch of their website, HSBC also worked in collaboration with parenting coach and celebrity dad Kay Ho and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens player Christy Cheng to start a new educational video series on the e-learning platform.

As the rules of touch rugby are comparatively different to other sports, such as football and basketball, the videos provide detailed instructions as well as physical demonstrations for those new to the game.

"I think the HSBC Try Rugby Programme is a good opportunity for more children to learn about a unique sport," said Ho. "Life is the same as a rugby match. Even if you are behind, you have the chance to turn defeat into victory before the end of the game."

Ho said that rugby would allow children and teenagers to learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and leadership.

"Those skills are difficult to acquire from books alone," he said. "Only through the contact between people, the understanding established during rugby practice and during competitions can these be developed. Knowledge is important, but these life skills are also necessary for a person's growth."

As the program is free of charge, teachers who are interested in incorporating rugby into their school curriculum can join the HSBC Try Rugby Programme simply by signing up online.

The program will host two teacher coaching seminars each year. The introductory seminar provides a broad look at touch rugby, along with a Try Rugby Resource Pack with tools that can help teachers deliver a touch rugby lesson such as colored bibs, rugby balls, colored cones and a pump and ball bag.

The program also provides two advanced coaching seminars for teachers who wish to further understand and develop their coaching knowledge, skills and technique for touch rugby.


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