The local context
In Hong Kong, the pressure to perform well in school in order to secure a job leads to many students prioritising academic and extra-curricular success over their own wellbeing. Schools find it challenging to manage these conflicting demands, which results in both staff and students feeling under pressure.
As teens face increasing levels of stress and distress, they also spend more time online and on social media. Insomnia and worrying can lead to unhelpful coping strategies such as using alcohol, drugs or self-harm.
Sports can be a very effective way to tackle social issues and communicate important messages, however, a public study conducted by the Department of Health in 2018 indicated that over 90% of school-aged children and youth did not participate in sufficient physical activity1.
1. Destigmatise mental health among youth aged 12-16 from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
2. Provide sports coaches with comprehensive knowledge of youth mental health and ways to integrate these comfortably within the sports environment.
3. Provide youth who play sports with a comprehensive knowledge of how to support their own mental health as well as their peers.
Rugby has a special place in Hong Kong with the world-famous annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament and we are building upon this heritage by:
- Developing and delivering two online training courses that will train 30 rugby coaches in mental health
- Running five face-to-face training sessions with rugby players aged 12-16 to enable them to manage their own and their peers’ mental health more effectively
The training of the coaches will help to sustain the effect of the programme to the benefit of later cohorts of young rugby players.
KELY Support Group is a Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation that equips young people with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities needed to support themselves and each other.
The Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation aims to bring about positive change by tackling social issues around social inclusion, education and health within the Hong Kong community.
 The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Towards 2025: Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Control Non-communicable Diseases in Hong Kong