By YUNG Ron (Jockey Club Humanity Hall)

Whenever students hear the term “rugby”, they automatically link it with scenes of a highly physical game and hard tackles. However, although it is true that the level of competitiveness and physical demand can be very high, the sport of rugby can also be a leisure sport for everyone!

Just last month, one of Hong Kong’s biggest sports events was held. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll surely know what I’m talking about! But in case you haven’t heard about it for some reason, it’s the Hong Kong Sevens! This event shows the growing popularity of rugby in Hong Kong, where youth participation in the sport is increasing annually and more and more people are aware of its existence. Some even say that they will not be surprised if it catches on and attracts a more mainstream crowd.

Among the universities in Hong Kong, rugby is also experiencing a boom in participation. Sam Lee, who is a member of the CityU Rugby team, shared his experience in the team. He says that he enjoys the game very much as it emphasises teamwork. He states that the game becomes fun and enjoyable for beginners in no time. Moreover, he also notes that there is a misconception that rugby must involve high physical strength and stamina. In fact, he clarifies that rugby can also be a leisure sport.

This view is echoed by Cherry Cheng, who is also a member of the CityU rugby team. Cherry started playing rugby in September. She recommends the game of “touch rugby” to beginners who are interested in this sport. She explains that ‘touch rugby’ is a game similar to rugby, but the players do not tackle in the traditional, highly physical way. Instead, with their hands, they touch the ball or their opponentsĀ  on any part of the body or clothing. She adds that because of touch rugby’s ease of learning and the decreased likelihood of injury, it has become a popular social game, where mixed gender and women-only games are very popular.

For those keen sports fans who want to experience traditional rugby, give it a shot in the summer and try applying for the CityU Rugby team or the Rugby Association. As for those who want to start with less sweat, you can also try the game of ‘touch rugby’ with your friends and classmates!