Rugby Captain — The Journey of Fong Kit Fung

Student Translator: Ms Lee Pui Yee Ruby (ENGE/3)

Kit Fung had no experience playing rugby at all before going to secondary school. It was not until getting support from his secondary school coach and friends that he started to know more about the game of rugby. Kit Fung supposed that his outstanding performance during the Sports Day 100m sprint race was the reason why his secondary school teacher, who is a tag rugby coach, took the initiative to invite him to join the rugby team. Worried about how grueling playing rugby might be, Kit Fung was initially hesitant about accepting the offer. In the end, it was only with the encouragement of his friends that he decided to take on the new challenge and start his rugby career. He giggled, “The friend who urged me to join doesn’t play rugby anymore, but I still do!” He admitted that friends are the biggest motivation pushing him to play rugby. The moments training together, joining competition together, and having fun together are the reason why he loves rugby.

Kit Fung knew nothing about rugby at the very beginning. Luckily, his teacher was very attentive and used different competing games (e.g. play tag) to help him familarise with the rugby rules. Apart from rugby, Kit Fung has also tried other sports like dragon dance and long jump, but he eventually chose rugby for the long run. He pointed out that the most special thing about rugby is that there are “a lot of variables” and you can’t give up until the last minute. He took dragon dance as an example. As one wrong move will cost you everything, the preparation work has to be 100% perfect. However, there is no definite win or loss in rugby. As long as you are still on the field, you can never assume your team will lose. Even if you find your team lagging behind in a game, you can still win with the appropriate mindset and tactics, and vice versa.

“Rugby is a tiring sport. In a place big like a soccer field, you need the speed in basketball game. It takes a whole team effort to win!”

Kit Fung modestly said, “My rugby career has gone quite smoothly.” Yet, when looking back at his journey, it is not difficult to realise the obstacles he has overcome before sailing through everything. When it was the first time they played in the inter-school competition during secondary school years, “We faced a massacre! (which means losing a lot of scores)” When they played again in the next year, no believed their team could win. He pointed out that innate factors, like height, play part of the decisive role in victory. At that time, the team which Kit Fung belonged to, was mocked as the “Baby Team” because of the relatively smaller physique of their teammates. Other schools often have players who are from basketball or soccer team and advantageously taller. However, Kit Fung believes that the controllable factors, from teamwork to team tactics, are the key to victory. Later, Kit Fung’s team also won different awards, proving their strength with their achievements.

“It was gruelling at the beginning, but you get used to it soon. Everything will be fine then!”

Kit Fung has also once thought of giving up. During the pandemic, he kept on training, waiting for the next competition that never came. He felt as if he lost his direction all of a sudden. Even worse, Kit Fung hurt his meniscus last year and it took him at least half a year from undergoing surgery to returning to practice. Not soon after his injury, their team finally had the opportunity to play friendly match in places like the UK and Portugal. Kit Fung, however, could only stayed in Hong Kong himself for a couple of weeks. He went to the gym alone and received draining physiotherapy, waiting his teammates to be back. As a player who is used to practising with his teammates, Kit Fung laughed and said, “Those days were so empty and lonely!” Finally, he survived the long wait.

“That cool shirt might once be why I joined the Hong Kong team. Now, I am fighting for the chance to be a regular member!”

In short term, Kit Fung hopes to win in the Hong Kong Sevens. It is also his medium-term goal to play in the Asian Games. Therefore, he actively plays different positions on the field to get himself equipped and ready at any time. He wishes to develop more comprehensive skills that enable him to play every role on the field. To achieve this, Kit Fung has set a strict training schedule: fitness training at 7:30 am; practice with teammates after breakfast. Basically, he simply travels back and forth from home to Hong Kong Institute every day. As a full-time athlete, Kit Fung has to put a lot of time in training and his studies will inevitably be affected. “Rugby is a team sports. Training together as a team is so important! I don’t want to affect the team.” Therefore, he is grateful to CU and his coach for their tolerance. The university allows his extension of study period and offers adjustment on credit requirement. This helps him seize his golden years and focus on his sports career. In addition, when there is no important competition during that academic year, the team will allow him to make adjustment accordingly to devote more time to his studies. Kit Fung believes that he will be able to strike a balance between academics and sports.