HKRFU partners with KMB to take ‘Rugby on the Road’

24 March 2015

To kick off the world-famous Rugby Week, leading up to the 2015 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Women's Sevens, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) is partnering with leading local bus operator KMB to present the HKRFU/KMB 'Rugby on the Road' campaign.

A highlight of the campaign is the special KMB Rugby Bus, which will serve as the hub of a special Sevens-themed community engagement event where fans and the public can enjoy a range of rugby-related activities, including rugby-themed games and interacting with players from the Hong Kong national rugby teams as well as visiting teams and Official Hong Kong Team mascot Wai Bei. There is also free face painting for fans of all ages and several chances to win tickets to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

In this the 40th year of Sevens in Hong Kong, the HKRFU/KMB "Rugby on the Road" campaign event will be held today at the Cultural Centre Piazza in Tsim Sha Tsui (next to the Clock Tower) from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

The star of today's event is the KMB Rugby Bus – a double-decker KMB bus decorated in the Hong Kong Team livery. In recent weeks, the special KMB Rugby Bus has been in service on Route 104 (between Kennedy Town on Hong Kong Island and Pak Tin in the north of Kowloon), spreading the message around the territory that rugby is part of the whole Hong Kong community. During the tournament, the KMB Rugby Bus will operate on Special Route 117R (Hong Kong Stadium to Bute Street, Mong Kok) from an hour before the end of match days. The HKRFU/KMB 'Rugby on the Road' community engagement campaign is a key part in the HKRFU's aims to encourage awareness of the sport and make Rugby A Game for All in Hong Kong.

A highlight of the event will be the chance to meet members of the many international rugby teams in Hong Kong for the tournament, including players from Samoa, Tonga, Spain and South Africa. The international players will take pictures with the special KMB Rugby Bus as well as with an original 1949 vintage bus.

The official Hong Kong Team mascot, Wai Bei, will make a special appearance at the occasion, encouraging members of the public to test their rugby precision, speed, and hand-eye-coordination in interactive games (with Hong Kong Sevens tickets on offer for the top scorers in each game), and helping to give away other rugby gifts.

Information about the 2015 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and the past 40 Years of Sevens in Hong Kong will also be on display at the event in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Visitors can take photographs with the players and get autographs. There will also be opportunities to take 'selfies' and group photos with the Hong Kong Sevens Cup – the Gerry Forsgate Quaich – as well as several fun Sevens-themed cut-outs, including of disco giants The Village People, who will perform for the Sevens crowd at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday.

The Hong Kong Sevens Quaich is named for the first HKRFU president, Gerry Forsgate, CBE, JP. A quaich is a Scottish traditional vessel for drinking scotch whisky.

Last Saturday (14 March), the bus took an early tour to Sai Kung, where residents and visitors to the Promenade had the opportunity to join in the fun.

Vivien Chan, Corporate Affairs Director of KMB, said, "Rugby is a game that develops team spirit and camaraderie, reflecting KMB's values. With multiple opportunities to win tickets to the 2015 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the KMB Rugby Bus is a must-visit for any rugby fan still looking for a chance to be inside the Hong Kong Stadium next weekend."

Anyone wearing rugby kit will automatically be given the chance to win a pair of Hong Kong Sevens tickets.

Robbie McRobbie, HKRFU General Manager of Rugby Operations and Commercial, said: "We are very excited to partner with KMB in this campaign, our first year of what we hope will be an ongoing and fruitful relationship. 'Rugby on the Road' embodies the aims of HKRFU – to spread the love of rugby throughout our community, to promote the values that the game of rugby represents, and to ensure a steady supply of new local talent for Hong Kong rugby clubs, and at the highest level, the national squad.