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16th Feburary 2016

Make-A-Wish appointed official charity of 2016 GFI HKFC 10s

Lisa Foley (left), Chairman of the GFI HKFC 10s Organising Committee, with Kalmond Ma, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong.

World’s leading annual 10-a-side rugby tournament teams up with world’s biggest wish-granting organisation

February 16, 2016: Make-A-Wish Hong Kong has been appointed as the official charity of this year’s GFI HKFC 10s rugby tournament, which will be held at Hong Kong Football Club from April 6-7.

Registered as a charity in Hong Kong in 1998, Make-A-Wish Hong Kong has granted over 1,600 wishes of children aged between three and 17 with life-threatening medical conditions.

The organisation will receive proceeds from the entrance fee and all on-site donations at the GFI HKFC 10s, which will again be held ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens.

Lisa Foley, Chairman of the GFI HKFC 10s Organising Committee, said: “The GFI HKFC 10s is excited to support the efforts of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong to grant wishes and positively change the lives of these courageous Wish Children.

“Rugby has a giving, team spirit and the 10s has a strong tradition of raising money for its chosen charity each year. This year we will be able to help several children’s wishes come true and, most importantly, help inspire the children in difficult times. Make-A-Wish is a remarkable organisation and we’re delighted to help.”

Except for medical equipment, wishes at Make-A-Wish Hong Kong can be anything an eligible child wants – to have, to go, to be, to meet or to give. Previous wishes include having a personal art exhibition, going fishing and attending a sports event. The wishes are only limited by the children’s imagination.

Kalmond Ma, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong, said the impact of granting a wish has far-reaching benefits for the children and also their family and friends.

“A wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illnesses. For their doctors, nurses and other health professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better, emotionally and even physically,” Ma said.

“A wish granted is true magic for our Wish Children and can bring sunshine into lives that have been affected by pain and trauma, providing respite from their normal routines of hospitals and treatment. We work with our partners creatively to turn children’s wishes into a magical and memorable reality.”

Make-A-Wish Hong Kong is one of 39 affiliates of Make-A-Wish Foundation International, which is headquartered in the USA and serves over 50 countries and territories through its network.

The official charities of the GFI HKFC 10s have recently included The Nesbitt Centre (2015), Po Leung Kuk (2014), Operation Breakthrough (2013) and Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (2012).

Long renowned as the world’s best 10s, the tournament has long attracted the game’s top players including seven of the New Zealand team who won the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Conrad Smith, Jerome Kaino, Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Sam Cane and Charlie Faumuina.

Since GFI began its title sponsorship in 2006, the 10s has featured Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima and Israel Dagg (2008), Bob Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Justin Marshall (2011, 2012), Mils Muliaina (2012), Marty Holah (2013), George Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (2014), Todd Clever (2012, 2013, 2015) and Rico Gear (2011, 2013, 2015).

Along with GFI, other sponsors in 2016 include Allied World, Natixis and Rugby Pass (gold sponsors), DHL, Q-Net, Swire Properties and Withers (silver), CBRE, CPA Global, EY, Markel and Structure Tone (bronze), Pure Blonde (official beer) and Tsunami (official apparel).

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