The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) has announced it has partnered with Village Lions Rugby Football Club to become the title sponsor of the 2016 Hell Gate Sevens Tournament, a premier rugby sevens tournament held in New York City.

“This is an exciting time for rugby fans and players all over the world, as the sport makes a triumphant return to the Olympics this summer,” said Steve Barclay, Director of HKETONY. “My office is delighted to sponsor this year’s Hell Gate Sevens Tournament, as Hong Kong has been hosting its world-renowned rugby sevens tournament for over 40 years.”

According to a 2016 report from HSBC, there are currently more than 7 million rugby players worldwide, and that number is expected to surpass 10 million by 2020. The report also states that rugby sevens is the fastest-growing sport In the United States, and with sevens rugby set to make its Olympic return this summer in Rio, the sport is set to explode onto the U.S. national scene.

“We are delighted about forging a new partnership with HKETONY,” said Richard Gallina, President of Village Lions RFC. “Rugby is about much more than just sport, it’s about giving back to the community. Partnering with an organization like HKETONY, which has had roots in NYC for over 30 years, is invaluable to our success and will ensure that we continue to stage one of the most anticipated and competitive tournaments in the Northeast sevens circuit.”

The Hell Gate Sevens Tournament presented by the HKETONY will take place on Randall’s Island in New York City on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Originally launched in 2009, the Hell Gate Sevens Tournament regularly attracts more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, and support staff, as well as fans from all along the pEast Coast. Registration for the tournament is now open, and teams high school aged and older are invited to register at