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Ahoy There! DB Pirates wants You!

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At the start of the 2022/ 2023 season, DB Pirates is looking to recruit players, coaches and sponsors. Here’s why you want to get on board.

REPORTING BY Raphael Blet
PHOTOS BY Col Sim Photography & courtesy of DB Pirates.

DB Pirates isn’t your everyday sports club. For starters, it caters to players of all ages and genders, providing them with the opportunity to train and compete both locally and overseas in rugby, netball, hockey and dragon boating.
Established in 2003 exclusively for rugby, the club now enjoys success across all sections, while enabling its 700+ members to train right here in Discovery Bay. Hank Terrebrood, who took over from Simon Knight as DB Pirates Chairman in June, is cautiously optimistic at the start of the 2022/ 2023 season, one which he hopes will reset the club to its pre-COVID status. No doubt, the club has lost players, volunteers and sponsors in recent years but the Pirate spirit remains indomitable.

SEEKING NEW PLAYERS
With the ongoing 2022/ 2023 season sign-up, Hank and his team are on the lookout for new players to join the club, whether for rugby, netball, dragon boating or hockey.

Nothing if not inclusionary, DB Pirates now has something for everyone, with whole families regularly playing for the club’s various sections. There’s dragon boating for men and women over 18, and Mini Hockey for girls and boys aged six to 14. DB Pirates has three active netball sections for women and girls – the Nettas for under 10s, the Junior League (U12 to U18), and the
Ladies League.

“There’s a place for everyone here!” says Head of Netball Sam Lewis, stressing how important gender balance and family involvement is to the club. That goes for the rugby section too: These days girls and boys as young as four years can sign up for Mini Rugby, and then graduate to Youth Rugby (age 13 to 17). There’s also the Seniors section (the Pirates Men’s XV) for experienced male players aged 18 years and up, and The Piratas, which enables domestic helpers in and around Discovery Bay to get together, play sport and be part of a valuable social group.

“Whether you are completely new to the sport, or you’ve been playing your whole life, DB Pirates offers a platform for everyone. If you want to play for fun and meet new people or represent Hong Kong, we have everything you need to achieve your rugby goals,” says DB Pirates’ Head of Rugby Simon Tasker. “I’m especially keen to get more girls into rugby,” Simon adds, stressing that the physical strength needed for the sport has got nothing to do with gender.

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SHOUT OUT TO SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS
At the start of the 2022/ 2023 season, DB Pirates is also looking for volunteers. “We are in need of parents of existing players to step up,” says Hank. “We need help with our club management roles, in particular, a communications point person, I.T. and a board secretary. We are also looking for new leaders in a few areas – we need a netball coach for the juniors’ section and a new head of hockey.”

Most importantly, as a non-profit club, DB Pirates needs sponsors. “The more sponsors we have, the more we can do,” Hank says. “We couldn’t do all this without generous sponsors supporting and driving us forward.

“We believe that any relationship we develop with our sponsors must be truly win-win,” Hank adds. “We want them to get to know us, work with us in a partnership and be part of developing a sports club to rival the best in Hong Kong. Sponsorship of DB Pirates creates a unique opportunity to access a passionate network of people who believe in community, healthy living, family values and shared experiences.”

ONGOING SUCCESS IN LOCAL SPORTS
The DB Pirates’ participation and success in local sport is perhaps the key draw for new and existing players, coaches, volunteers and sponsors. But, as Hank points out, the club’s achievements are often overlooked. “I think the DB community doesn’t hear of the club’s success and doesn’t know how well our teams do across all sections,” he says. “For instance, our U12 boys have won silverware in the Richard Hawks Trophy six times in a row but I see kids getting on the ferry wearing our competitors’ kits.”

Indeed, DB Pirates has grown over the past 16 years to become one of Hong Kong’s most successful rugby clubs, producing premiership teams and providing a breeding ground for future champions. “We are a feeder to Kowloon Rugby Club which gives these kids a pathway to premier sport, Hong Kong representational and Olympic rugby,” says Hank. “In the past few years, we have had, and currently have, several Pirates men and women make the Hong Kong national team or full international level at both 7s and 15s. In 2021, we had two women from our club on the Olympic repechage team in Barcelona.”

Likewise, over in DB Pirates’ netball section, the Ladies League is a feeder to the Hong Kong Netball Association, and players of all ages compete ably against local teams. Sam is quick to highlight the talent of the Junior League players, saying, “In 2021, we saw six of our juniors get selected for the National Squad. In 2020, we had nine. A huge congratulations to these
superstar players!”

DB Pirates’ Mini Hockey section has also earned a special place in the Hong Kong sporting community due to its players’ passion for sportsmanship, fair play and success. In time, Hank hopes to develop a Senior Hockey section, for girls and boys aged 16 and up.

In recent years, the big news for DB Pirates’ dragon boat section has been its successful merger with Lantau Boat Club (LBC). “This is the second year we have joined forces with LBC as both clubs have lost members with many people leaving Discovery Bay. It has been a successful amalgamation as it has allowed both groups to continue paddling together as LBC Pirates,” says Rachel Ball, Head of Dragon Boating.

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RECENT WINS
In July, LBC Pirates competed in the Kellett Island Night Race hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, fielding mixed and ladies’ teams. “Both teams were up against tough competition and gave superb performances. The ladies had a phenomenal start in their first heat and made it to the semi-finals,” says Rachel.

Having just competed in the Kellett Island Cup on August 28, LBC Pirates is training hard for DB’s rescheduled Dragon Boat Race Day on October 9. Likewise, although last season was cut short by COVID restrictions, the DB Pirates’ netball teams managed to achieve outstanding results across all sections.

“Three of our teams were promoted and finished in prime position to bring home silverware,” says Sam. “The Black Pearls were in first position of Division 1 when the games were stopped, and another two of the teams were in the top three.” When it comes to the rugby section, Hank is quick to give a shout out to DB Pirates’ Mini Rugby players. “In this year’s end of season for the culminating minis competitions, our U12 girls won the Kim Lam Cup, and our U12 mixed team took home the bowl in the Richard Hawks Trophy.”

THE SOCIAL SIDE
For some, joining DB Pirates can be a pathway to sporting excellence, for others, it’s simply a way to get fit and active in a supportive environment – all that’s required of members is that they are up for a challenge and prepared to give a sport, or sports a go. Then of course there’s the social aspect: DB Pirates is a community-based club first and foremost and as such, it allows members from all nationalities and walks of life to meet and mingle. It’s billed as one of the friendliest clubs in Hong Kong and social events have traditionally been as important to members as tournaments and matches.

“We offer a seriously social approach to sport and play under the banner of work hard and play harder,” Simon concludes. “Pirates live locally and play locally. By joining us you can become part of the wider community, meet new people and benefit from a collaborative sporting environment.”

To join DB Pirates as a player or learn more about volunteering and sponsorship opportunities, email [email protected], or visit www.dbpirates.com.

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