It was another exciting weekend of Mini & Youth rugby at The Sevens Stadium with almost 3,500 young rugby players from the UAE and further afield coming together to enjoy two days of tournament rugby in Dubai.
It was another great weekend of fun, excitement, emotion, and elation for the players of Dubai Exiles RFC and many of the other clubs that attended the regions largest Mini & Youth rugby festival.
There’s no better sight in rugby than seeing the smallest of players enjoying themselves with a rugby ball in their hands. The Exiles minis clearly enjoyed themselves on Saturday morning. While the Under 6 and Under 7 age-groups in the Festival are non-competitive, the Exiles Under 8s had a superb Saturday and left The Sevens Stadium as HSBC Bowl Winners. Congratulations all!
The Exiles‘ juniors, the Midis, are made up of boys and girls who play rugby in the Under 9 to Under 12 age-groups. They also enjoyed a Saturday of ‘sunshine rugby’ in Dubai with some great results to show for the hard work and effort that they put into training on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at Dubai Exiles RFC. The Exiles‘ Under 9s made it through to the Cup competition semi-finals, the Under 11s won the Bowl competition, and the U12s won the Plate competition. Congratulations to all of you!
- Under 9 – Cup Semi-Finals
- Under 11 – Bowl winners
- Under 12 – Plate winners
The HSBC World of Opportunity Programme is a project which gives young people a unique insight into career opportunities in sport off the pitch. Since its birthplace in Dubai in 2021 the programme has been rolled out in Vancouver, LA, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong.
In December 2023, HSBC partnered with GEMS, the largest school network in the Middle East, to deliver the World of Opportunity Programme at the Emirates Dubai 7s. Hosting the programme was HSBC Global Ambassador Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman, an ex-England international rugby player who in her career won the World Cup, multiple 6 Nations trophies and competed for Team GB at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
At the Festival the GEMS students tried their hand at social media content creation, media interviews, under the guidance of Dubai Eye presenter Tom Urquhart, as well as live commentary with Nolli on many of the rugby matches that took place on Pitch 6…
Exiles youth rugby has enjoyed a long history of success at the Gulf region’s largest and most prestigious Mini & Youth rugby tournament. The 2024 HSBC Mini & Youth Rugby Festival was no exception with the Under 13s, Under 16s, and Under 18s all winning their Cup competitions.
- Under 13 – Cup winners
- Under 14 – Plate runners-up
- Under 16 (1) – Cup winners
- Under 16 (2) – Plate runners-up
- Under 16 (3) – Bowl winners
- Under 18 (1) – Cup winners
- Under 18 (2) – Bowl winners
The addition of a competition for Under 16 Girls at the 2024 HSBC Mini & Youth Rugby Festival meant that more girls’ teams participated than ever before. Congratulations to everybody who took part and made the Festival the biggest ever.
- Under 14 Girls – Bowl runners-up
- Under 16 Girls – Plate runners-up
- Under 18 Girls – Plate runners-up