Rugby stars to raise P5.6-M for PH kids, charities in tourney

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Friday, September 5, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- The two-day charity tournament initiated by the “Potbellied Pigs” Rugby Football Club of Hong Kong commenced here yesterday at the Mimosa Golf and Country Club amid some rains and cloudy skies to raise one million Hong Kong dollars (P5.6 million) for select Philippine charities, children’s education and training.

As this developed, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) president and CEO Arthur Tugade welcomed the players and their guests from various Asian countries and urged them to maximize their stay at the Freeport.

“Events like this give us so much opportunity to make a difference. I commend the group for reaching out to Filipino disadvantaged children, particularly those in areas covered by the Freeport and those charities that benefit children as well,” said Tugade.

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“This is also a great opportunity for our foreign players and guests to savor the environment inside Clark, which has transformed itself from a military airbase to one of the most visited, vibrant and happening places in the Philippines,” the CDC president stressed.

Chris Simpson, director for the charity golf, said some 30 golfers from countries like New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, South Korea, China and the Philippines pulled their (golf) clubs together to hit more than half a million Hong Kong dollars (P2.8 million) for the education of at least twenty children from Angeles and Mabalacat cities.

The other funds, Simpson said, are expected to be raised from the rugby tournament set today, September 6, when 16 teams, 12 foreign (expats) and four locals, will battle at the Challenger Field inside the Air Force City.

“Every single cent [collected] goes straight to Philippine charities for the junior rugby development project, feeding program, medical missions, scholarships and charities like Bahay Bata and Duyan ni Mama, among others,” said Simpson.

Richard Lucas, local coordinator for the Fatboy10s activity, said the recipients of the educational fund are being supported in the form of cash allowances, subsidized tuition fees and training [rugby].

They are minors 10 years to 16 years of age who used to stay at the Angeles Bahay Bata Center, an institution in Central Luzon that helps uplift the welfare of street kids, he explained.

He said the beneficiaries are being schooled at three state junior schools which includes include the Angeles City National Trade School and Rafael L. Lazatin Memorial High School, and are given a daily allowance of P50, free uniforms and other school supplies.

The Rugby club’s charity games likewise benefit members of the Clark Jets Rugby, a three year old team that was formed by the club.

Moreover, Angeles City Councilor Maricel Morales, who graced yesterday’s charity games opening, extolled the Potbellied Pigs RFC HongKong for their commitment and dedication to help uplift the lives and welfare of disadvantaged children particularly in her locality.

“I am glad [to note] that their supporters have magnified. It used to be two or three, but I’ve seen a lot of sponsors now. So it is really a growing event that has a purpose of changing lives,” Morales said.

The former actress said the club’s thrust to help children get an education mirrors the local government’s scholarship program at the City College of Angeles (CCA). Barely over two years in operation, she said the school is now subsidizing 1,500 students from only 300 scholars when it started in 2012.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 06, 2014.

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