Jo Hull, the head coach and performance manager of the Hong Kong national women’s fifteens rugby team, is seeking donations of used sports bras for a charity trip to Zambia in Southern Africa.
Hull will be going on a one-week trip next month to coach young underprivileged girls – many of whom are orphans – for Tag Rugby Trust, a British charity that “uses rugby as a vehicle to build futures by providing relevant and challenging opportunities for children and adults” in developing countries.
(Full disclosure: I am a member of the national rugby training squad and Hull is my coach.)
“I believe the power of rugby can hugely promote self-esteem and the feeling of empowerment in young females,” Hull told Coconuts HK.
“Rugby is like no other sport in that there is a place for everyone,” Hull said, adding that it’s an opportunity for women to break down gender norms and stereotypes.
Hull is hoping to take as many donated sports bras with her a Zambia as she can, and is asking Coconauts for help.
“The key thing is to educate them about looking after themselves, such as wearing the correct protective clothing (like sports bras),” Hull explained. Many of the girls are dealing with communicable diseases like malaria or HIV/AIDS.
Most of the charity’s beneficiaries don’t have the means or access to buy such kit, but Hull says it doesn’t stop the children from hitting the pitch.
“Many of the young kids play in bare feet and have no material belongings to their name. Somehow it doesn’t even seem to come across their mind as an issue, and I find it very humbling,” Hull said
Please email us if you’d like to drop off sports bras – or women’s rugby kit – at the two collection points in Sheung Wan or Causeway Bay before Feb. 23.