Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York Presents the Hell Gate 7s Rugby Tournament for 2nd Year Running

8th Annual Tournament Hosted by Village Lions Rugby Football Club of New York

NEW YORK (June 1, 2017) — The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York is pleased to announce it will again be the title sponsor of the Hell Gate 7s, a premier annual rugby sevens tournament held in New York City. This is the second consecutive year that HKETONY will be the tournament’s title sponsor and continues the organization’s partnership with the Village Lions Rugby Football Club of New York.

“July 1, 2017, marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This may be the first time ever for Hong Kong rugby players to compete in a New York tournament, and will do much to forge closer sports ties between the two great cities,” Steve Barclay, Director of HKETONY, said. “Hong Kong is excited to be part of the phenomenal interest and growth of rugby in the United States.”

This year, the tournament will have the distinction of hosting two Hong Kong teams traveling to compete in the Hell Gate 7s, with the full backing of the Hong Kong Rugby Union. Sai Kung and Yuen Long, the cup winners of the local District Rugby 7s Tournament, will compete in the Men’s and Women’s Open competitions, respectively.

“Every year Hong Kong hosts thousands of overseas visitors, including increasing numbers of Americans, at our Cathay Pacific/HSBC Sevens — we are delighted that this time we’re sending two of our local District teams in the opposite direction!” said Robbie McRobbie, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union. “I know they will have a warm welcome and a memorable time both in the Hell Gate 7s and enjoying the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most iconic cities, and in the spirit of rugby this trip will foster greater friendship and understanding between our young men and women.”

“We are ecstatic to kick off our eighth annual Hell Gate 7s Tournament and can’t wait to celebrate the action on the pitch from some of the top clubs and organizations from not only the Northeast, but from around the world,” said Richard Gallina, President of Village Lions RFC. “The Village Lions are dedicated to hosting the premier summer rugby sevens tournament in New York City, and our partnership with HKETONY will allow us to continue to elevate the competition level at the tournament.

“As rugby sevens explodes globally, the Village Lions are excited to work with HKETONY to continue to build the bridge between the Hong Kong and New York rugby communities.”

The Hell Gate 7s presented by HKETONY will take place on Randall’s Island in New York City on Saturday, July 8, 2017. Launched in 2009, the tournament regularly attracts more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, and support staff, as well as fans from all along the East Coast. Registration for the tournament is now open — high school teams and older are invited to register at hellgatesevens.com.

About Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York

HKETONY has been promoting closer business and cultural ties between Hong Kong and the 31 eastern states of the United States. It works closely with state and city governments, business chambers, think tanks, and academia to enhance understanding and cooperation. The office also organizes and partners with a number of organizations in holding various cultural and sporting events, such as dragon boat festivals, film festivals, and arts fellowship programs.

For more information about HKETONY, visit hketony.gov.hk or its Hong Kong Meets America page at facebook.com/hkmeetsamerica.

About Village Lions Rugby Football Club

Village Lions Rugby Football Club is based in New York City and was founded in 1989, with the addition of a women’s program in 2000. The club fields multiple sides in both fifteens and sevens rugby competitions. Recent successes include the Men’s Fifteens program being crowned Division 2 Northeast (Competitive Region 3) Champions in 2016, and the Women’s Sevens program winning the Empire GU Sevens Series in 2015.

For more information about Village Lions RFC, visit villagelions.org or its Facebook page at facebook.com/villagelions.

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For further information about HKETONY, contact Cherie Leung at cherie_leung@hketony.gov.hk or at (212) 752-3320.

For further information about Village Lions RFC, contact G. Angela Corpus at hellgate7s@villagelions.org or at (425) 791-1275.