CR&FC strikes a hat trick with HSBC

Tuesday, 18 January 2011 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

HSBC has announced its continued partnership with the Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club (CR&FC) in support of uplifting the game of rugby in the country. The new partnership for 2011 spans the third consecutive year in which HSBC will act as the official corporate sponsor to the CR&FC rugby team.

The new agreement was signed at a press conference held at CR&FC with Nick Nicolaou - Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives, Jehan Michale CanagaRetna, President of CR&FC, Rienzie Fernando, Deputy President CR&FC, Nilantha Bastian, Head of Marketing, Group Communications and Corporate Sustainability HSBC Sri Lanka and CR&FC team players in attendance.

The 2011 sponsorship will facilitate the expertise of a foreign coach, Grant Dwyer who will work closely with the players throughout the Rugby season, with the intention of helping them become Rugby Champions in 2011. Dwyer was Head coach of CR&FC in 2005/2006 and led the team to win the Clifford cup in 2006. He was also the Head Coach and Director of Rugby for Cajasol Ciencias Rugby Club, Seville, Spain, Club Rugby Development Manager of Wasps Rugby Club, London, Coaching and Development Manager of Queensland Rugby Union.

Understanding the vast local talent that exists amongst Rugby players, the sponsorship will further build club Rugby and raise the profile of its players as well as serve to develop and expand the game to reach the highest level.   

The main tournaments that the sponsorship will cover include; Inter Club Rugby Sevens, Caltex League Tournament, Caltex Clifford Cup Knock-out Tournament and The President’s Trophy knock-out Tournament.    

Nick Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives said: “HSBC is committed to the development of Rugby throughout Asia and we are proud to be sponsoring the CR&FC team for the third year as part of the Groups support for rugby. “

“CR & FC has turned out to be a top-notch outfit in the domestic club rugby arena. Their performance in the concluded 2010 rugby season goes to show the strength and endurance of the players. We are excited to witness this year’s rugby season and believe the spirit of the rugby fans will play a key role in helping the team emerge champions this year,” he added.

The HSBC sponsorship is aimed at promoting and developing the competitiveness of rugby and to provide the club’s players a platform for development. Having provided assistance to build the CR&FC Grand Pavilion in 2007 and the sponsorship of the team in 2009 and 2010, HSBC’s sponsorship of CR&FC for 2011 will further strengthen and promote the clubs image in the country and the region.  

Rienzie Fernando, Deputy President of CR. & FC stated, “Firstly, I would like to thank HSBC an internationally renowned brand and a true champion of the development of rugby around the world for their sponsorship of our Rugby Team for the last two seasons. We greatly value and appreciate the support extended to us by HSBC, without whom it would not have been possible for CR to come this far. In particular, the 2010 season was successful even though we lost the league title by a very close margin. We are determined to make 2011 even more successful and have already set in motion a few plans & one of which is to engage the services of a reputed professional Australian coach. Our aim is to harness the talent of young players, and mould them into skilled players for the sustenance of future rugby in Sri Lanka, through our partnership with HSBC who has a successful history of working with its partners to develop the game on and off the field  “

HSBC aims to bring positive social change to different cultures and communities through its diverse rugby sponsorships across the world. HSBC invests in rugby across 30 different countries from the very pinnacle of the elite game to the development of emerging rugby countries through the Asian Five Nation series (A5N) in which Sri Lanka won the HSBC A5N Division 1 Tournament and qualified to play in the top  division of the HSBC A5N for 2011. Each of HSBC’s rugby sponsorships shares one common aim of uniting people and cultures through the positive values of rugby.

Most recently HSBC was appointed the first ever title sponsor of the IRB Sevens World Series.  The announcement represents a further boost for Rugby Sevens as the sport marks the one-year anniversary of being voted onto the Olympic Games programme, starting with the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Under the unprecedented five-year deal, HSBC has been awarded title naming rights to the record-breaking IRB Series which is now known as the HSBC Sevens World Series  comprising tournaments in Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, England and Scotland.