Posted: Friday, Mar 03, 2017
Author: Olly Stratton
Categories: Club News, Rugby News

Valley Fort Parents,

Phew! The festival is now over (at least for 12 months) and life goes back
to normal. Unfortunately, not quite... I've got quite a lot to cover this
week, starting with a change of plan on Sunday training as the PLA have
decided to do some exercises for the next week meaning we have no access to
the Fort on Sunday. So all at St. Stephen's.... Big day for Valley seniors
this Saturday, a recap of last Sunday's Valley Fort Festival and a few other
upcoming events. Before going there, congratulations to our U14 girls, photo
below and attached, who as a combined VF/HKFC team have gone through the
season undefeated and won the U14 girls XV's cup. Co-captain is Claire
Grisel (holding cup) .

So here goes with the agenda for this week...

1.       Training schedule

2.       Valley Day at HV8 on Saturday, March 4

3.       Recap of Valley Fort Festival

4.       ESPN Fantasy League

5.       Sevens tickets

6.       Upcoming stuff

a.       HKFC festival

b.      Macau festival

c.       Netball

d.      P7 dinner pre-Sevens

e.      French Beach Clean-up Operation

f.        Soap Cycling

g.       Valley Fort Easter Rugby Camp

1. Training
·         Friday, March 3. Regular HKIS training 6.30 to 8pm for U9 through
U12. Bus details have been circulated. Please remember that kids need to be
accompanied on the bus (if you or your helper can't make it, please ask
somebody to be responsible for your kid)

·         Sunday, March 5. Having a regular schedule of both St. Stephen's
and Stanley Fort for the whole of Jan through April was too good to be true!
The PLA have informed us today that they are doing a special exercise and we
can't have access this Sunday. Therefore all minis training will be at St.
Stephen's with times as per below. There is NO PARKING at St. Stephen's and
please don't park on the road outside. Don't forget mouth guards, water, sun
screen. Chez Patrick will be there.

o   8.30 to 9.30 - U5, U6, U7, U8

o   9.15 to 10.45 - U9, U10, U10G, U12G

o   10.15 to 12.00 - U11, U12

Colts, please see messages from your head coaches.

2. Valley Day at Happy Valley 8 on Saturday, March 4

Following the success of the senior teams 2 weeks ago, we have a big
afternoon at Happy Valley pitch 8 on Saturday, with Grand Championship
finals and semi-finals. Please see flyer below and attached. Food and drinks
available (I think...). Let's make a big effort to go and support. Wear red
and black and bring your kids.

·         1.30        Gauchos vs Typhoons (NL4 final)

·         3.00        SocGen Valley 1st XV vs HKFC (Premiership semi-final)

·         4.30        Knights vs HKFC Scorpions (NL1 semi-final)

·         6.00        Black Ladies vs HKFC (Womens Premiership semi-final)

(also at 1.30 at So Kon Po, the Ma Jais play City 4 in the NL7 semi-final)

3. Valley Fort Festival Recap

The feedback on last Sunday's Valley Fort Festival has been universally
positive from all participants. "Best ever" has been a common theme...
People loved the new innovations - medal and MVP presentations, the U5
festival (which HKFC are now adding to their upcoming festival on March 19)
and the coaches touch. The extra space, better signage with big banners and
pitch flags, bigger pitches and longer games, a very high standard 5-way
"unofficial" championship for U11 tier A, the rugby experience workshops
were all big hits. Next week, I will circulate a link so that you can access
the photographs taken by our professional photographers.

Before getting on to thank you's, a couple of highlights:

Rugby Tots. Many of the younger kids tried out the Rugby Tots fun and games
during the morning. They made a video of the day with the footage they took.   In addition, they are having a
launch class on Saturday, March 11 at Victoria Park for children aged 4-7
and have invited Valley Fort kids to join for free. Spots are limited but if
any parents would like their children to try out that would be wonderful.
Just email to secure a free spot.  Rugby Tots is uniquely
different to a traditional rugby club programme as the focus is on their
individual skill development and fun compared to team performance in a game
for their rugby team. The two programmes go alongside each other perfectly.
Their social media links are





"The world's favourite rugby play programme"


Coaches Touch. And the winners were....Valley Fort 1. A big thank you to
Philip Lynch, Matt Lilly and Ashlee Schroth for organizing this event, (and
to our 2 referees who probably had no idea what they'd signed up for!).
There were 12 teams in total and everybody played 4 matches (2 group games,
a semi and a final). Benefiting from a couple of pretty handy touch pros
(Jamie Paton, but more importantly, Colleen Tjosvold), a rigourous training
regime run by coach Ashlee, and rules developed by us (yes, and particularly
important were the tie-breaking rules for the knockout stages), Valley Fort
1 and Valley Fort 2 both made it to cup semi-finals. Unfortunately Colleen
couldn't play for 2 teams at the same time (she probably could, but wasn't
allowed to!) and so we ended up in first and third places in the end. For
the record, the final results:

·         Cup:  winners VF1 runners-up SSP1  (The games was tied 1-1, but
Valley Fort 1 won because they scored first and there was no time to play
"golden try" sudden death)

·         Plate: winners HKFC runners-up HKFC (who were subbing in for ABN)

·         Bowl: winners THT runners-up I think were SSP2

The trophies were presented by Peter Duncan, HKRU President. Nobody from
Valley Fort stayed around as they rushed off to coach their kids so the
presentation was made to the chairman. See attached.

I won't repeat everything from last week, but I would like to reiterate some
thank you's to a number of people who worked extremely hard to make it all
possible and to make it run so smoothly. I run the risk of forgetting
people, but if I have, please don't hesitate to remind me!

·         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. With
2 festival checkpoints, Jessie and Cathy had to split, but were ably
supported by a number of people, with particular thanks to Lorna Jones and
Becky Maltas (and others) who put in some very long shifts and were a great
help throughout

·         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)

·         Chez Patrick for their catering in the Chairman's and sponsor's
tents, and for all those who helped out hosting on the day while the
Chairman was absent....

·         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, together with Costello Catering took on the master contract and
coordinated all the other F&B vendors. I think they provided exceptional
service and made everything convenient across the whole venue

·         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, and to
all the pros who made themselves available through the day and put smiles on
so many kids' faces

·         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

·         Eloise Chu, Mergermarket Head of Marketing, who has delivered such
a great program and organized the photographers

·         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

·         Ashlee Schroth (again) for organizing and leading all the
merchandise sales

·         Dr. Lucy Clarke of the HKRU for coordinating medical support

·         The Saturday evening and Sunday morning set-up teams and the
Sunday evening clean-up team

·         All of you who helped as pitch marshals and in other ways

4. ESPN Fantasy League

With the Six Nations action re-starting last weekend, and Italy giving
England a bit of a scare, the question is who would be the influential
player for the Valley Fort Fantasy League. The answer: England prop, Dan
Cole. By selecting him and after his unlikely try, Harry Nichol's Solid XV
was able to pull ahead of Andrew Stratton's Squad of Dreams (283 points to
274), with 3rd place taken by James Donnelly (264 points). At the bottom,
Stevo's Legends (172 points, but remember they missed the first weekend of
action) have now overtaken Duncan Smith's Marburians (141 points). We've got
a weekend off this weekend before the final 2 rounds of action. Does anybody
want to take up the challenge of entering now and trying to overtake the

5. Sevens tickets

Email will go out tomorrow.

6. Upcoming Stuff

Quite a few things here, some Valley Fort things and some interesting events
that have been brought to us by some coaches and parents.

a.       HKFC festival - March 19. We should have final schedules to
circulate by this weekend, but the outline is as follows with most age
groups playing in the morning (except U10, U12, U12G):

·         Hockey  9-12 PM U6  12-12.30 U5

·         Main     9-12 PM U7  12.40-7.25 U12

·         HV3     10-12.15 PM U10G 12.30-5.10 U10

·         HV4      8.30-12:45 PM U9

·         HV5      9-12.45 PM U8

·         HV8      8.30-2.10 PM U11 3-5.50 U12G

b.      Macau festival - March 25. We've been invited to participate in a
small festival in Macau. One team each for U6, U7, U8, U9, U11 (no U10
unfortunately as Macau Bats have no U10 team). Games played from around
10.30 to 2.30. Priority given to kids who did not tour to KL. Please contact
your head coach if interested

c.       ValleyNet Netball Coaching Clinics - March 19, May 13, May 21, June

4. We circulated an email earlier this week. Re-attached to this email.

d.      Pyrenees 7 (P7) Dinner on April 4. Eric Lorin, Olivier Arzel, Andre
Marzloff and Thierry Barot are organising a fun rugby lovers dinner for the
P7 at HKFC on April 4 with the objective of helping to finance the P7 who
are competing in the GFI 10's tournament on April 5 and 6. Players attending
the dinner will include two former French internationals, Imanol
HARINORDOQUY and Damien TRAILLE (Eric, maybe they will no longer be "former"
- France look as though they need some help in the Six Nations!). There will
be speeches from the two VIP guests, and lots of gifts (shirts, rugby balls,
food tickets for 10's and 7's ...) with their Pyrenees 7's tombola and some
exclusive auction prizes. Imanol and Damien will also run a kids training
session that afternoon. Details to follow. Prices range from HKD680 for
individual seat, HKD8,160 for "rugby lover" table up to HKD18,000 for VIP
GOLD table. Please email before March 20  to book your

e.      French Beach Clean-up Operation on March 25. More on the French
theme, with this one from Fred Laine. An initiative to clean HK's beach on
March 25. It is open to anyone (even non-French). Le mail est en
Francais.... and I won't make any effort to translate into Australian, but
please refer to attached flyer and press releases in both Anglais and
Francais. It seems like a good thing to do, and is a good way to keep your
minds off the Six Nations...

·         Si tu peux monter une équipe Rugby, ce serait top, on a besoin de
jeunes motives pour aller dans les coins un peu plus compliques
d'accès...Ouvert a tous, francais ou pas..  Il est peu probable que vous
n'ayez pas encore entendu parler de l'operation " Sous les déchets la Plage"
;-), que nous organisons avec le soutien du Consulat et du Gouvernement de
Hong-Kong. Si vous savez deja que vous allez venir, pensez a vous inscrire
des que possible, cela nous facilite la tache pour l'organisation (
repartition des effectifs sur les plages, sacs , gants et balances,
informations a communiquer aux autorités etc...) <>

·         Si vous ne savez pas encore, ou n'avez pas encore entendu du
projet, voici quelques liens pour vous convaincre:  and

·         Au dela du nettoyage de plage, le but des 350 volontaires deja
inscrits est de montrer leur preoccupation a l'égard de la pollution
plastique, et prouver que tous nos petits gestes mis en commun peuvent avoir
un reel impact sur notre environnement. La planète, ce sont nos enfants qui
vont en hériter, prenons en soin !!!

f.        Soap Cycling - April 13 to 17. Keeping up with the French theme,
Amelie Seure has a friend organising this trip and thought it might be of
interest for some VF families. Soap cycling is a non profit organisation,
they recycle soaps and distribute them in remote areas. Please see attached

g.       Valley Fort Easter Rugby Camp - Thu/Fri April 13 & 14

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll see many of you at Happy Valley on
Saturday afternoon and St. Stephen's on Sunday morning.


All the best,

Oliver Stratton

Chairman, Valley Fort RFC



2017-03-04 Valley Day.JPG

2017-02-26 U14 girls.JPG

Coaches touch cup winners.jpg


VF Easter Camp final.png

Soap Cycling.JPG






Communique de Presse.pdf

Press Release.pdf

Last updated: 04 Mar 2017 20:32