As part of their Regional Rugby Grassroots programme, in which HSBC will work with Etihad to coach clubs, schools and employees’ children over the course of several events, HSBC sponsored the Etihad Junior Rugby Festival. Penguin Coaches, Rhodri Thomas and Keith Robertson, spent 5 days in Abu Dhabi to assist with the 2,200 school children aged between 5 and 18 years participating across the entire Festival.
The Festival, the largest youth rugby event of its kind in the region, consisted of two key events – the Etihad Harlequins' Rugby Schools' tournament, and the Etihad Airways' Abu Dhabi Harlequins' Junior Rugby Tournament. This year’s venue, Zayed Sports City, offered additional capacity to accommodate the increase in participants, annually, since the festival was inaugurated.
Competitions were run for the following age groups:
U6, U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U14, U16, U18 boys and U18 girls touch rugby.
The HSBC Penguin Coaching Academy offered specialised coaching in skills, unit, and team play. As the teams worked their way through their matches, they were offered the opportunity to visit the HSBC Penguin coaching area.