Posted: Friday, Feb 24, 2017
Author: Olly Stratton
Categories: Club News, Rugby News

Valley Fort 2017 Festival Program and other information

Valley Fort parents,

So finally our festival is upon us! I’m really excited by the venue we have at Sandy Bay, the format we have developed and the activities that will be laid on. The overall theme is about engagement with kids and parents through the range of activities and F&B on offer, and we hope people will stay around to engage, to socialize, and hopefully to spend some money! And of course there will be a lot of rugby…

There’s a lot of detail in this email about the Festival. It’s a long email, but please read everything below and review the attached Festival Program so brilliantly put together by Simon Anam and his Mergermarket team. Separately, I will send out my weekly email covering the following:

  • Report on the wildly successful KL Tour last weekend
  • The successes of our senior rugby teams last Saturday
  • Training – HKIS this Friday; U11/U12 friendlies in KGV on Saturday
  • Sevens tickets


9 months ago we made the decision to move our Festival from King’s Park to Sandy Bay. Why? We saw the opportunity to do something bigger and better than we could do at King’s Park. We thought it would be more fun. It was good to do another festival on Hong Kong island. We knew it would cost a lot more money and would take a lot more time and effort. We knew that there were a whole bunch of logistical challenges that we weren’t even aware of. Because of all this, the Valley Fort Committee was split, but we decided to push ahead and everybody has been supportive and embraced the move. Thank you age group heads for that support. Our ambition has got bigger, the deeper we got into the planning. George thought we were crazy – weren’t we going to do a Sandy Bay Festival, and why are we trying to do so much more? Because we can. I’m confident that we will deliver something special and that is down to the collective effort of many people.


Before getting into details of the Festival, some important thank you’s:

  • George Von Burg, Festival Organiser. George put up his hand and said he wanted to do it. When some people had their doubts, and I wanted to push ahead, George said he could do it and he’s exuded a calm confidence throughout (except when Keir, Simon and I suggest new things!). If it needs planning, it’s planned. Effective liaison with HKU Sandy Bay for transfer of knowledge, and day-to-day coordination with the Stanley Ho Sports Centre team. Organising huge amounts of detailed logistics that we never had to deal with at King’s Park. Quite brilliant. Excellent leadership of a complicated project. Well done George! And excited to be able clone himself by issuing volunteers with clipboards and To Do lists…
  • Keir Macintosh and Simon Anam, Vice Chairmen. Both have taken huge roles in supporting George. Simon has taken the lead on sponsorship working with JB and the program. Keir has dealt with activities, and catering/F&B. Both Simon and Keir have been creative and raised the bar in their respective areas and have then worked extremely hard to deliver
  • Jessie Lam, who, as always, is the glue that holds this all together. She reminds us all stuff that we never even knew about, and takes care of all the details – buying things, moving things, booking things
  • JB Aldige who’s worked tirelessly on sponsorship for the past 5 months. Appalled at the start at what we wanted to do, he’s been creative in how to pull this together and make it much bigger and better, managing existing club sponsors and developing opportunities to create an attractive proposition for new sponsors
  • Our new festival sponsors, all 3 initiated through Valley Fort parents: Swire Properties/Taikoo Place (Tim Blackburn) doing MVP awards and giveaways, Marriott Rewards (Richard Boyer) seeking engagement with the mini rugby community, and Ogilvy (Adam O’Connor) sponsoring the festival balls
  • SocGen, our main Club sponsor for their overall support and the giveaways (pencil cases)
  • Edmund Rolston, who put up his hand to help with the catering. We thought he was good at making candy floss for the kids, but he and his partner, have taken on the master contract and are coordinating all the other F&B vendors
  • Chez Patrick for their catering for sponsors and chairman’s tent
  • Deano Herewini and Nick Hewson for managing Valley RFC pro players to come to Sandy bay to help out with MVP and medal presentations
  • Guy Green of the HKRU who has helped me enormously with some complicated match scheduling to ensure we get as much rugby as possible, and all the match-ups we want to have (e.g. the U11 Tier A unofficial championship)
  • Eloise Chu, Mergermarket Head of Marketing, who has delivered such a great program
  • The Sandy Bay Mini Rugby leadership who have embraced our move to their home ground and been instrumental from day one in providing guidance and wholehearted support, in particular Jim Leung, Tim Threlkeld, Iain Carmichael, Ian Brody, Keith Regan and Anne Mason
  • KK Tam and her team at Stanley Ho Sports Centre who are making sure that we don’t forget any details, and for providing much needed support
  • Brandon Huang and others at HKRU for supporting our move to Sandy Bay, and also coordinating the Richard Hawkes and Kim Lam tournaments
  • Rimmo Jolly/Chris Hoare, Ken Gaudin, Alex Fraser and Matt Lilly for organizing the contact referees
  • Philip Lynch, Matt Lilly and Ashlee Schroth for organizing the coaches touch tournament and managing the Valley Fort teams
  • Dr. Lucy Clarke of the HKRU for coordinating medical support
  • All of you who’ve put up your hands to help out on the day

George, I hope I haven’t missed anyone?


All the reasons why it will be an exciting festival are detailed below in the email that has just been sent round to all the clubs and in the attached program. I won’t repeat, but ask you to read on…

(Please note on page 28 of the program/page 19 of PDF file, that in the U11 schedule it should be played on pitches 1A and 1B, NOT 4A and 4B – deliberate error, not spotted by the U11 head coaches or by the Chairman)


Three last things to remember please.

  1. We are hosting the festival, and so we are all hosts. Please offer to help people out if they have questions. If you don’t know, point them to somebody who does, or call me or George. If volunteers are struggling, whether dealing with large numbers of people, or needing temporary relief from their duties, please offer to step in. Also, our behaviour should be exemplary
  2. Volunteering. Many people have already volunteered to help and we thank you for that, but the more we get the better. If you haven’t already done so, please, please, please offer to help. Go through your head coaches or to George Von Burg directly  This is what we need:
    • Set-up – Sat evening 6.30 to 10pm (hopefully a lot shorter than that). Mapping out pitches, putting up banners, moving stuff, etc. Beers and pizzas for those who can make it
    • Set-up – Sunday morning 7 to 8am. Moving stuff around, putting tents up, etc. For those volunteers, we have a bus from Redhill to Sandy Bay for 7am arrival
    • Clear-up – Sunday evening 6 to 7pm. We have a bus back to Redhill, leaving Sandy Bay at 7pm
    • Pitch marshals. We need coverage for the duration of the matches for each age group. Playing schedules are organized so you will be able to watch your kids play…
  3. Let’s support our Valley Fort teams. Last weekend in KL we saw the impact of the tremendous support, both within an age group and across age groups, and the lift that it gives our teams. This is not about rubbishing the opposition, but about encouraging our teams. So wear your red and black and bring your voices to the sidelines. Who needs it more than most? The coaches touch team, who are taking the field on pitch 3 between 12 and 2pm. Let’s get behind them and help them win some silverware!

Bus schedule for volunteers:

Signage: Valley Fort

  • 6.30am Redhill Plaza – on Pak Pat Shan Road (outside setps entrance to Woodlands Montessori)
  • 6.33am The Manhattan Taxi rank (opposite - public bus outside the American Club
  • 6.35am Stanley Plaza Bus Stop
  • 6.40am Headland Road - public bus Stop
  • 6.44am The Lily, 129 Repulse Bay Road (opposite - public bus stop)
  • 6.45am 109 Repulse Bay Road - opposite public bus stop)
  • 6.50am HK Country Club - public bus stop
  • 6.55am Cyberport Arcade
  • To Stanley Ho Sports Ground


  • 7.00pm Leaving Stanley Ho Sports Ground and will stop the above points


I look forward to seeing you on Sunday (or before). Please remember to help out.

All the best,


Oliver Stratton


From: OliverStratton []
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 11:12 PM
To:; 'Simon Carrington'; 'Keith Oh'; 'Chen Xinhong'
Cc: 'Guy Green'; 'Chairman of Minis - Jim Leung'; 'Megan Porter'; 'George von Burg'; 'Valley Fort'; Olly Stratton
Subject: Valley Fort 2017 Festival Program and other information

Club Chairmen,

On behalf of the Valley Fort Festival Committee, we look forward to hosting your clubs at the Valley Fort Festival at the Stanley Ho Sports Centre in Sandy Bay, this coming Sunday, February 26.  I attach the Festival program. I would appreciate if you could forward this to your club members, together with the important festival information below. Please read carefully and in particular please bring old kit to donate to charity as described below.

We’re very excited by the change of venue to Stanley Ho and would like to thank everybody who has made this possible; in particular our friends from HKU Sandy Bay mini rugby club who have been supportive throughout, and KK Tam and her Stanley Ho team who have been responsive to all requests. The venue provides us opportunities to add more activities and fun, and we are keen to provide as much engagement in rugby as we can for parents and kids throughout the day. We’ve been able to include U5s into the program for the first time and, for those of you looking for real entertainment, come to watch the 12 clubs competing in the coaches touch tournament between 12 and 2pm on pitch 3. I suggest you try out the rugby entertainment workshops for skills and competitions led by Hong Kong international players taking place on the far side of pitch 3.

Thanks to the generosity of one of our festival sponsors, Swire Pacific / Taikoo Place, we are planning to present medals to every team, MVP awards to one player per age group per club (that's 122 trophies!)  and provide the opportunity for team photos with a presentation stage and backdrop. We will have Hong Kong and international players to make the presentations and a professional photographer to record it and make photos available later through a website.

Our other festival sponsor is Marriott Rewards and they are keen for you to pay a visit to their tent next to pitch 3, where you can find out more about their rewards program as well as enter competitions with generous prizes on offer.

Please take time beforehand to read the program and also the important information below.

SCHEDULE:  Games are being played on 4 pitches throughout the day. Pitch 1 (U11, 9.30am to 5.10pm)  and Pitch 2 (U7, 8.30am to 12.50pm; U8, 1.00pm to 5.45pm) are off to the right as you come through the main entrance, Pitch 3 (U10, 8.30am to 6pm, U10G; 2pm to 6pm; U5 & coaches touch, 12 to 2pm) is the main grass pitch inside the athletics track on the left as you walk through the entrance, and Pitch 4 (U6, 8.30am to 11.40am; U9, 11.50am to 6pm) is the other side of Pitch 3 up the steps. Detailed match schedules can also be found on the HKMRFU App which can be downloaded from the iOS or Android app stores by searching for HK Mini Rugby or follow these device-specific links:

In order to maximize playing time for the kids, we are running a very tight schedule with only 1 minute breaks between games. Games will start as soon as both teams are ready and finish when the horn sounds. In order to make the pitch marshals’ job easier please make sure your team is at the right pitch and ready to start at least 2 minutes before the scheduled start time.

HONG KONG PLAYERS, MEDAL PRESENTATIONS AND MVP AWARDS. Following your kids’ matches, their teams will be presented with medals by a Hong Kong or international player on the 2 presentation stages, one between pitches 1 & 2 (this will be for U7, U8 and U11) and one at the side of the spectators stand as you walk up the steps to pitch 3 (this will be for pitches 3 & 4, i.e. U5, U6, U9, U10, U10G). Please see festival map in the attached program. In addition to medals, one player from every age group U6 through U11 at every club will be presented with an MVP trophy by one of Societe Generale Valley RFC’s Hong Kong international players (I’ve attached a list of players we expect to be helping out at some point and their rugby credentials and backgrounds). Rather than collecting medals and taking them back to the team's pitch, we'd like you to bring the team to the stage, collect medals and so we can take a picture with team and pro player(s).

RUGBY ENTERTAINMENT WORKSHOPS. We encourage you to take kids of all age groups try out the Rugby Entertainment Workshops, led by Hong Kong international players and covering a range of age groups. There will be Rugby Tots for ages 2 to 7 (9am to 1pm), Prime Rugby for ages 9 to 14 (1 to 3pm) and Pro7 Rugby for ages 8 to 16 (3 to 5pm), all with giveaways for all participants. As well as teaching skills, these workshops will have competitions and chances to win prizes. Please take the time to engage in these activities between and after games. See if you can beat your kid and win a prize!

TRANSPORTATION, DROP-OFF AND PARKING:  There is NO PARKING at Stanley Ho Sports Centre, and all cars parked along the road outside the entrance WILL BE TICKETED. For those of you driving, please park at Cyberport. 2 hours free parking with HKD200 spend. A free shuttle bus will be operating from Cyberport to the venue from 7.45am to 6.15pm. Alternatively it’s a 10 minute walk. For MTR alight at Kennedy Town exit A and take bus no. 58. Address is 10 Sha Wan Drive, Sandy Bay. Local map:

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:  Please do NOT bring outside food and beverages. Our various  catering contractors have a great selection of food, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.

WATER:  As per last year, we will NOT be giving away bottled water. Make sure your child brings a water bottle which can be used to pick up water at the water stations. Water is being supplied by Bonaqua.

MOUTH GUARDS: No mouth guard, no play. If you forget to bring one, please come to one of the Valley Fort festival control points, where we will have a limited supply of mouth guards for purchase at HKD100.

USED KIT & SHOE COLLECTION:  We will be collecting used rugby kit for to donate to charity. If you have rugby boots or kit that you no longer need, please bring along and drop them off in the bins next to the Valley Fort festival control points (clean kit only please; for shoes, please tie the laces together so that the pairs do not get split up).

THEFT ALERT:  This Sunday there will be a lot of people at Stanley Ho and so please be vigilant at all times and don’t leave bags lying around.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Please remind everybody from your club – players, parents, and most importantly all your coaches – to behave appropriately at all times. Respect the referee – they are volunteers doing a challenging job, and they deserve your support, so accept their decisions at all times. Encourage players from both teams – applaud tries from both sides and support the players at all times. This is not the World Cup, and we’re all participating to have fun.

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday,

Oliver Stratton

Chairman, Valley Fort RFC 

Tel:  +852 9026 0520




Valley Fort Mini Rugby Festival 2017_Program.pdf

Marriott Rewards-Valley Fort-SaveTheDate-20170223.pdf

Societe Generale Valley Players at 2017 Festival.docx

Last updated: 24 Feb 2017 13:59