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Showing posts with label Sports News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports News. Show all posts

Filipina DH named one of 8 HK women’s rugby envoys

Posted on 25 September 2019 No comments
Brizuela (left, seated) with HK Island team, this year's Battle of Origins winner.
By Vir B. Lumicao

A 32-year-old Filipina domestic worker has been named by the Hong Kong Rugby Union as one of its eight ambassadors to promote women’s rugby in the city.

Mary Flor Brizuela will participate in the effort to push the growth of women’s rugby in Hong Kong as part of World Rugby’s “Women in Rugby” global campaign.

All eight ambassadors were presented on Sept 11 at the launch of the KPMG Premiership, the HKRU domestic women’s league this season.  

Brizuela (2nd from left) with the seven other women rugby ambassadors for HK

Brizuela, a single mother of two boys from Bula, Camarines Sur, who has been working in Hong Kong for seven years, was specifically tapped to encourage the huge community of foreign domestic helpers in the city to participate in the sport.

Even before her nomination this year as a rugby envoy, Brizuela had already been promoting women’s rugby among Filipina helpers in Hong Kong since 2016.

Brizuela said in an interview that she was introduced to rugby in March 2016 after she was asked to become an Enrich “ambassador” to get more fellow domestic workers to sign up for the NGO’s workshops.

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An Enrich trainer introduced rugby to her as a leisure activity and Brizuela tried it out of curiosity.

“At first, I had no idea what kind of sport rugby was. I’d been playing basketball, ping pong, and volleyball, but never in my life did I hear about rugby,” said Brizuela, a graduate of midwifery and caregiver course from Naga City Foundation College.

Her first encounter with the sport inspired her and seven other Filipina helpers to form a team, aptly called “Exiles,” and trained on Sundays at Happy Valley sports ground. From that core group, Exiles has grown into a 36-woman strong team.

The all-Filipino Exiles team
“Exiles intends to reach out and encourage more household service workers to play rugby and join different friendly tournaments,” Brizuela said.

This way, she said, the team can carry through its vision to integrate domestic workers into Hong Kong society and “help build a global community that nurtures friendship, respect and empathy to everybody.”
That is in line with World Rugby’s strategy of fuelling the sport’s growth by developing women’s rugby to “realize a more equitable game for all”, in the words of World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

 “We firmly believe that development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade,” Sir Bill has said. “Not only is women’s rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world but we are well on the way to realizing our vision of a more equitable game for all through the implementation of our ambitious strategic women’s action plan…”

Brizuela and her team exemplify that vision.

As a young team, Exiles made a “big breakthrough” in 2018, Brizuela said. “We had the privilege to join the Hong Kong Corporate Sevens on Dec 9. On Jan 13, we were invited to play in an international all-women beach festival in Discovery Bay.”

After that, HKRU put her through training and coaching courses, as well as a referee course that she finished on May 15 this year. With that, Brizuela became qualified as a U8 coach and Level 1 referee of the local rugby union.

Brizuela’s skills on the pitch did not go unnoticed. In the last summer league at King’s Park, local team Blue Dragons signed her to play touch and tag, two versions of rugby that require less physical contact.

This season, she has switched to the more physical contact rugby to be able to play for Valley Ladies.

Brizuela says playing rugby since 2016 has changed her life.

“For almost four years of experiencing, exploring and trying new things in rugby, this sport has changed my life in a way. It taught me to keep my eyes on my goals, no matter how unreachable they may seem, and that bumps along the way will be met.

“But it’s your choice whether you want to take a step back or go head-to-head and emerge bruised yet victorious,” she declared.

Rugby has taught her that sometimes admitting weaknesses is the bravest thing to do. “With admission, we drop our shield of pretense, find the courage to face reality and reach out for the help we need,” she said.
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Pinay cricket team’s December match vs. Indons threatened by air ticket woes

Posted on 17 September 2019 No comments
Without air tickets, all the preparations will be for naught.

The Philippines’ first and only foreign-based women’s cricket team is scheduled to meet the Indonesian national women’s squadron in Dasmarinas City, Cavite in a qualifying match in late December for the Cricket World Cup.

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But the first international game of the SCC Divas has more than worried the team than excited it, as the problem of financing their air tickets could sabotage their trip if they can’t find a kind-hearted sponsor.

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Josie Arimas, founder and captain of the Divas, who were champions in the Cricket Hong Kong Women’s Development League for the past two seasons, said her team was invited by the Philippine Cricket Association to play in the T20 tournament at home.

Arimas said the PCA manager has pledged to shoulder the Divas players’ accommodation and food while they are in Dasmariñas.


“Na-rattle ako, baka di ko makumpleto ang ticket namin, ang iba meron na,” Arimas said.
To try crowd-funding, she is planning to post on Facebook an appeal for donations in order to be able to collect enough funds for the team’s air fare to Manila.

She said she can’t hazard going to the   match with just the players who already have tickets because it’s the strong cricketers in her team who happen to have no tickets.

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“Need ko kasi ang mga strong players. Kung lawlaw wala din, di ba? Kung maiwan ang mga strong batter ay wala kaming ilalaban. Apat lang kasing taga-Manila ang medyo okay maglaro,” Arimas said.

Divas players, who are mainly recruits from the OFW baseball, softball and volleyball teams in Hong Kong, mostly come from the Visayas and Northern Luzon provinces.
I-try mo ito, Kabayan: Kung interesado kang ma-contact ang mga advertiser namin dito, pindutin lang ang kanilang ad, at lalabas ang auto-dialer. Pindutin ulit upang tumawag. Hindi na kailangang pindutin ang mga numero.

Road HK holds charity spikefest

Posted on 20 July 2019 No comments
Organuzers and winners join in for a souvenir photo after the tournament.

“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.”

Guided by this principle, members of the Radiant Organization of Amiable Drivers Hong Kong ( ROADHK ) held a one-day volleyball league on Jun 30 at Victoria Park to raise money for their charity projects.

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Twelve volleyball teams participated in the games, namely The Partners, Helping Hands A & B, Baguio Team, D’ Seekers, Legend League, D’ Paknerz, SIGAC, I - Fialikia Team, LVM Pilipinas, Isabela Team and Arvielynx.

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Although it was the first time Road HK had organized a volleyball contest, everyone had fun, and the games proceeded smoothly. LVM Pilipinas emerged as champion in the friendly competition, followed by SIGAC as the 1st runner-up, D’ Seekers as 2nd runner-up and Isabela Team as 3rd runner-up. – Maria Theresa Aquino
I-try mo ito, Kabayan: Kung interesado kang ma-contact ang mga advertiser namin dito, pindutin lang ang kanilang ad, at lalabas ang auto-dialer. Pindutin ulit upang tumawag. Hindi na kailangang pindutin ang mga numero.

Manager aims to make SCC Divas shed DH identity

Posted on 07 July 2019 No comments
SCC Divas receive their trophy. 

By Vir B. Lumicao

SCC Divas may be the only all-Filipino women’s cricket team in the world, says its manager, but it still known in Hong Kong as a group made up of domestic workers.

Manager Animesh Kulkarni says his ultimate goal is to make the team known simply as Filipinas, not as domestic helpers. He also plans to have one of the SCC Divas players drafted into the Hong Kong national team within the next three years.

“We will continue to admit and train Filipinas who want to join the team as our contribution to Hong Kong cricket. But my ultimate goal is make you known not a team of domestic helpers but of Filipinas,” Kulkarni told the team after the awarding.


SCC Divas was crowned champions for the second-year running in its division in Hong Kong. The team ruled Cricket Hong Kong’s Women’s Development League for the second consecutive year via a clean sweep of the four-team division in the 2018-2019 season that ended in April.

Cricket Hong Kong handed the trophy to the SCC Divas’ founder-captain Josie Arimas and vice-captain Jennifer Alumbro at the Awarding Night in Regal Oriental on Jun 21.
Kulkarni said he wants to attract Hong Kong resident Filipinas to play for Divas.

SCC Divas' manager Kulkarni and assistant manager Prameswaran

“We are now starting,” Kulkarni said when asked about when he is going to tap into the Filipino resident community to boost the team. 

Assistant manager Chandrasekhar Parameswaran said the team had become a platform in the past two years for attracting more Filipinas to cricket.

“We’ve got a good pool of 30 to 50 players from the Philippines who are already here and we’ve built a core of it. Now, through your platform, we would like to invite Hong Kong Filipinos …to practice every Sunday… and they could come through the system,” said Parameswaran.

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Kulkarni praised Hong Kong-based SCC Divas as unique in that it is the only Filipina team in the whole world, there being no other team of Filipina cricketers in India, England, Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere.

“SCC Divas is the only team in the world for the associate or regular members (of the International Cricket Council) having an all-Filipina team. Other development we are starting, but we will carry on and we will go global,” said Kulkarni.

Kulkarni told the team after the awarding that he is trying to arrange matches for them against the Philippine women’s cricket team in Manila in December.

His statement ties in with plans for bilateral and trilateral tournaments in December at the Philippine Cricket Association ground in Dasmariñas City, Cavite. The one-day internationals were disclosed by PCA manager Faisal Khan in a message to Arimas.

Khan said some of the Divas players would be drafted into the Philippine national team that will play the Korean, Vietnamese and Singapore national teams in December.

Kulkarni said that SCC Divas played better in the recently ended season than in their maiden season that closed in 2018.   

“Very good improvement and we are hoping that next year will be much better than this year,” said Kulkarni.
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