HSBC will help introduce thousands of young people around the world to rugby sevens as part of a two-year grassroots programme. The bank will provide coaching sessions to those new to the game in partnership with Serevi Rugby, co-founded by Waisale Serevi who won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice with Fiji. Rugby sevens has seven players on each team and will feature in the Olympics for the first time in Rio 2016.
In addition, the programme will help hundreds of adults to earn an International Rugby Board (IRB) level one coaching qualification.
The initiative started with a five-day rugby festival in Brazil, in conjunction with the Brazil Rugby Union. This included a coaching session with children from the community of Morro do Cantagalo in Rio and a special training session on Copacabana Beach. The programme will move on to Hong Kong and the US later in the year.
Participants will receive coaching from Waisale Serevi and England’s Ben Gollings, the record points scorer in international rugby sevens.
HSBC is a long-term sponsor of rugby at all levels and since 2010 has backed the IRB’s Sevens World Series. Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship, HSBC, said: “The bank sees the potential of the sport to reach new audiences and attract children, in particular, to play the game. Helping to further grow the sport during this crucial period leading up to 2016 is a key aim of our investment.”