THE Silverbacks return from their 2011 Hong Kong tour with happy memories and enough donated kit to equip an entire league.
The team bring with them dozens of brand new sets of playing strip, hundreds of un-used boots, plus tracksuits, training gear and T-shirts – all donated by the Hong Kong rugby community.
The equipment will be given to teams competing in the East African country’s fast-expanding rugby scene, where enthusiasm is plentiful but decent kit is more difficult to come by.
“We’re once again overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of the Hong Kong rugby community,” said Silverbacks captain Djuma-Adams Mugabo.
“The rugby equipment will be put to good use back in Rwanda, where the sport is enjoying a real boom and more men’s and women’s teams of all ages are being formed.
“All the other items will go to those people most in need and will be very warmly received. Words cannot express our gratitude to the people of Hong Kong.”
The collection – centered at the Harbour Plaza Hotel in North Point – was organised by Hong Kong Rugby Football Union director of development Ruth Mitchell, who coordinated a similar initiative during Rwanda’s first tour last year.
This year, the team settled for 3rd place after beating Australian side Double Bay 33-7 in the third-place playoff.
“The 2011 visit to Hong Kong has been another important step in the development of Rwandan rugby,” said Rwanda volunteer worker Dave Hughes, organiser of the Silverbacks’ tours.
This year’s tour was sponsored by CB Richard Ellis, G4S, Woodland Pre-Schools and Emboss Capital.