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Penguin Coaching Academy in Hong Kong
23rd to 30th March 2014

The beat of the Penguin drums were sent out across the great white cloud of New Zealand and other parts of the world, the call for another Tour of the famous Penguin Coaching Academy was approaching.

Tama Tuirirangi, Tony Penn and Phil Herewini answered the call, and arrived in Hong Kong ready to become Penguin ambassadors once again, and deliver more rugby to the youth of Hong Kong.

The Coaching Academy programme was once again lead by Deano Herewini (Hong Kong based)

Day one, Sunday morning we headed out into the vast smells of Hong Kong in our red limo, the infamous Hong Kong Taxi, four props in the little Red Taxi was a site for any visitor to the City. Chur Bro!

In an association with the HKRFU the Penguins supported a drive to promote rugby in a small community. The sessions were based on a hard court surface as playing pitches can be difficult to obtain.

As per previous trips to Hong Kong, the session was based on fun and enjoyment to tick all the boxes to grow the game in this area and the objective was well achieved.

When asked the question on completion of the sessions “did you have FUN” Do you want more” a positive Yes was received across the court from all involved, which brought a smile to the Penguin coaches.

30 boys and girls took part in the age range 8 to 12 years.

Comprising of all Local Chinese children who only grasped the game a few months before.

After 2 enjoyable sessions delivered by our front row specialist, the children learnt the skills that they could only see on TV.

40 boys and girls took part in the age range 14 to 17 years.

This was an amazing experience with the newly built facilities for the British Curriculum School, located out in Tun Mun area.

Most of the children are boarders, along with the son of Ex All Black wing Terry Wright. A lot of the children had been playing rugby for a long time and this is when the Penguin Academy Coaches came into their element.

The session plan was to introduce the players to what could be, once they get to higher honours.

The intensity and attitude was the key factor of the day’s session plan.

The children were put through a rigors coaching session to give a taste of professionalism, one day we hope to see these children play for their country.

Fifty boys took part aged 12 to 17 years

Another eye opener with amazing facilities - following the British Curriculum School.

The school was keen to have rugby as part of its programme and was in its first year of operation.

The politeness of the children and attention spans was just enjoyable to witness.

The Penguin coaches planned a fun session with the coaches rotating drills from passing, support and decision making and eventually progressed into games.

30 boys and girls attended ages 10 to 16 years

No, not a school and not HK based, but a Canadian Youth select 7s team, from Vancouver, who were on tour in Hong Kong for a youth tournament. This group was coached by former Canadian and Penguin player Shane Thompson.

The venue for this session was held at the Fan Zone (part of the Hong Kong 7s week) on the water front of the HK Harbour as.

This was the venue for 10,000 fans to come at night and enjoy live bands as part of the HKRFU & HK 7s.

This group of boys were superbly prepared with attitude / skills/ focus from the start without the Penguin coaches setting them goals for the session. They all had the right mind set from the start.

So each Academy Coach ran a session each comprising of 7s components-

Attack / Defence / Games

The Penguin coaches were surprised at the stamina of the Canadians as the intensity and continuity that was thrown at these boys was intense. Coach Tama though they probably could have kept running for another 2 hours.

15 youths aged 16 to 17 years

A group of mixed local and expat children – This group have been introduced to rugby over 2 years but wanted to see the Penguins play as well as learn some skills from the coaches.

This worked out well with the Penguin team playing in the HKFC Tens. The Academy Coaches ran through some 10s components and playing shape and then they moved on to watch the senior Penguin team in action; to watch how it should be played - A win to the Penguins and everyone happy. Post-match the Academy coaches held a Q&A sessions to test the learning from the match such that the youngsters could take tips away for their next match.

25 boy and girls Aged: 16 to 17 years

The Penguins have supported this worthwhile initiative previously, as set up by the HK police and HKRFU.

This group of children had come from a rough back ground and always seem to be getting into trouble with the Law, so the HK Police took these children and introduced them to rugby Some of these children have come through the HKRFU system and played National age grade rugby.

We had 60 young men and women, average age 16. We introduced a variety of skills and a number of games, which certainly showed a high level of skill that they had on show.

The children really enjoyed the one hour session, and we found that this group had developed there rugby skills really well over time. The ladies really impressed us as the skill sets that they showed was certainly up there with the best of the boys within this group.

Great night and an enjoyable one by all to finish of the Penguin Academy Coaching Programme.

Once again it was a privileged for the Penguins to be involved and pass on our life skills to the youngsters.

This group would have been the most advanced local players seen on this tour.

One day we will see one or more of the Break through children playing at the HK 7s

60 boys and girls Aged 16 to 19 years

Great night and an enjoyable one by all to finish of the Penguin Academy Coaching Programme.


Action from the various sessions
Jack Speak
Community Group
Jack Speak
Community Group