Organisers of this year’s GFI HKFC Tens have announced The Nesbitt Centre as the official charity of the tournament which will be played at the Hong Kong Football Club, March 25-26.
Established in 1993, The Nesbitt Centre (www.nesbittcentre.org.hk) is Hong Kong’s leading charitable organisation catering for the life development needs of young adults with learning disabilities. The organisation’s mission is to encourage and support special needs students to lead independent and rewarding lives within the community.
The Nesbitt Centre will receive all proceeds from the HK$100 entrance fee for the second day of the GFI HKFC Tens on Thursday, March 26, as well as all on-site donations. The tournament offers free entry on the opening day.
Lisa Foley, chairman of the GFI HKFC Tens organizing committee made the announcement at Café 8, a coffee shop born out of a unique collaboration between the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and The Nesbitt Centre which provides employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities:
“Each year we have engaged a charity with strong Hong Kong roots and a link to rugby and this year the Nesbitt Centre is the perfect choice,” said Mrs. Foley.
“The Centre is a wonderful organisation that provides incredibly positive experiences for an often overlooked sector of society. We are really looking forward to working with Kay and her team to raise the profile of their fantastic work and involving them in the tens as much as we can.”
With two campuses on Hong Kong Island, The Nesbitt Centre provides ongoing education, training and vocational facilities for around 40 students per annum aged between 18 – 46 from multiple cultures and backgrounds who reside in Hong Kong.
Kay Rawbone, Operations Director for the Nesbitt Centre was delighted that the social enterprise has been selected as the official charity of the 30th HKFC Tens.
“On behalf of everyone at the Nesbitt Centre, staff and students alike, I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the tens committee for involving us this year,” said Mrs. Rawbone.
“We are an organisation that relies entirely on charity and goodwill to operate so partnerships like this one with the tens are a fantastic opportunity for us. However, it’s not just about the funds. We are also working with the committee to come up with ways to involve our cafes and students with the tournament and make sure as many people as possible get to see what The Nesbitt Centre does.”
Last year’s tournament charity was Po Leung Kuk. The Official Charities of the GFI HKFC Tens in 2012 and 2013 were the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation and Operation Breakthrough respectively.
Sixteen teams will compete in four-round robin pools on day one before progress into the Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Shield competitions on day two. As well as attracting past and present stars of rugby, fans will also be able to catch a glimpse of future greats with many young up-and-coming players now using the GFI HKFC Tens as a high-quality tournament to showcase their rugby skills.
GFI Group return for their 10th year as title sponsor of the GFI HKFC Tens and will be joined by fellow sponsors, Allied World, DHL, Swire Properties, Q-Net, Natixis and Fosters.
Since GFI came on board as title sponsor, the tournament has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) Justin Marshall (2011 and 2012), and last year’s wining captain, George Smith.
Now in its 30th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.