Rams Haka

      Phuket International Rugby 10s

The Beginning

After years of the local boys playing touch rugby in Phuket, Kandy RFC the Sri Lankan Champions arrival with 12 Internationals marked the birth of contact rugby on the island. Despite the Vagabonds combining 9 Nations of dubious talent we suffered an auspicious defeat - but the Vagabond legend was born. The club leapt (crawled) from strength to strength, began hosting games and even hosted an International 15's. After a year we were awarded with our first victory over some crap Bangkok side (Corsairs). A transient squad resulted in awesome victories and auspicious defeats (somewhat like Wales), but with tours to Hat Yai, Bangkok and Manila the club emerged as an entity (rather than force) within Thai Rugby Union Presently we are aiming to strengthen our pool of players by reducing reliance on rotational expats who are always pissed, bar owners who are always pissed and press ganged tourists who are also, always pissed.

Phuket rugby has continued to develop (sobering up at least) and with an influx of young fit South African teachers, yachting crews and general surfer dudes among others the Vagabonds have become a side to be reckoned with who can not only lead off the pitch but also on it and the 2015 victory in our home tournament during our 21st anniversary year at the Phuket International Rugby Tens will be remembered for many a year by those who were there. A permanent feature for both Thai and Asian teams to defeat...erm visit.

Birth of the Phuket 10s

phuket 10s logoThe Phuket 10s started life as a 4 team 15 a side tournament held at Surakul Stadium in Phuket town between the Singapore Bucks, The Australian Airforce from Butterworth, Abu Dhabi Rugby Club and the Phuket Vagabonds. Abu Dhabi were inaugrial winners beating the RAAF from Butterworth Butterworth 7 - 5 in tightly fought final. With the practicalities of a 15s comp and the growth of Rugby 10s in the region it made sense to make the switch so in 1998 the first Phuket 10s was played with 5 teams competing for honours with the Hong Kong Football Club the winners. Since that auspicious day the tournament has grown in strength annually until now when we are at the maximum number of teams we can handle. Such was the success of the tournament and with the advancing age of the local funding vagabonds players it was decided to introduce a vets tournament to guarantee the old gits a game. So with the introduction of the Coffin Dodgers vets Tournament in 2006 the tournament became a 3 day event. Over the course of the years we have also included youth development and women's rugby. With so many teams returning on a regular basis, many teams annually, it produces a unique atmosphere and although there is no quarter given on the pitch old friendships are renewed and new ones made off it.With the introduction of Tour Virgin Beauty Pageant on the Saturday night the club revelry went up a notch and now it is such that it is as important to win the Tour Virgin as it is to win the tournament.

Asia Center Foundation

Pot Bellied Pigs Rugby ClubIn 2002 the event teamed up with the Asia Center Foundation to try and raise funds to help Roelien Muller and her team with the work they were doing with the slum children in Phuket. After the traumatic tsunami in 2004 we moved up a gear and helped the ACF set up a scholarship fund where they would run the day to day and we through the Phuket 10s would attempt to raise funds. It has been a resounding success with the generosity of teams, supporters and individuals helping disadvantaged children to an education that changes lives. The program has just celebrated the 10th anniversary at the 2015 tens and is making a real difference to so many young lives. Asia Center Foundation (ACF) was founded in 2002 by Roelien Muller as a childcare center with 26 children. It now boasts six different programs and helps yearly more than 250 children. My journey on Phuket started when I walked through Soi Namsea. The conditions were just terrible. I was not prepared for what I found in the slum while teaching English to adults working with tourists in Patong. Little did I know that my life would change completely when I saw the children’s eager little faces when they joined their parents at the adult English class. I remember wondering, what do they do in a slum day after day? I wanted to do something that would give the families I met there, hope again. It was not a one-man journey. It is by God’s grace and unmerited favour that I can thank many different people that played a role in bringing us this far. Dr Danny Martin who believed in me, and introduced me to World Children’s Fund (WCF) – thank you for being there for me. Dr Joseph Lam from WCF who took the risk, and provided the funding so I could get started – thank you for your tremendous support. It is with great expectation and excitement that I look towards the future and to reaching our goal of having our own facility. All in God’s time. Mrs Roelien Muller Director, Asia Center Foundation

To find out more check out www.asiacenterfoundation.org

Bangers On Bikes

Bob Pearson of BangkokBangers on Bikes Bangers fame also wanted to do more so he roped in a few friends to do a cycle from Bangkok to Phuket to raise funds for the Asia Center Foundation. The journey was epic and very nearly killed them but another fund raising idea was born . They are now into their 8th year and have gone international with the last two rides being Vietnam to Bangkok and Penang to Phuket. A brilliant effort which helps the Asia Center Foundations building fund and a cheque presentation ceromony is held at the Phuket 10s every year. 2017 will be the seventh consecutive year that a few rugby players will cycle to raise money for charity. In past years the riders rode from Bangkok to Phuket. in 2014, they took even a bigger challenge and ride from Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok. This year the ride is from Yangon to Bangkok. Last year funds raised were distributed to the Asia Center Foundation in Phuket.and the Nak Suu Tigers Academy in Bangkok. This year funds will also be distributed to the Hill Tribe Fund in Chiang Mai.. These are all non-profit foundations. take care of the under privileged kids in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai and try to give them new opportunities through education and sport programs. The ride will start before the 2017 Bangkok International Rugby Tens Tournament. The cyclists leave Yangon on Monday the 19th February and arrive in Bangkok on Friday the 24th February 2017. Help us to achieve our funds raised goal and make more and more kids happy

This is the 8th annual ‘Bangers on Bikes’ charity ride

bangers on bikes

They will depart from Yangon across Myanmar and through rural Thailand to Bangkok. Where did the ‘Bangers on Bikes’ ride begin? Eight years ago, the Old Bangkok Bangers were involved in a program coaching rugby to underprivileged kids around Thailand. On one of these road trips, Bob Pearson - the founder of the‘Bangers on Bikes’ - was coaching at the Asia Center Foundation (ACF) in Phuket. Bob was struck by the enthusiasm of the kids, the dedication of the staff and the objectives of the ACF center. In a conversation with Roelien Muller, Director of ACF, it became glaringly obvious, that the ACF really needed funding.

Bob came up with the idea of a cycle charity ride from Bangkok to Phuket. So with a couple of like minded Old Bangkok Bangers (Jeff Klentzi and Peter Burgess) the concept of the ‘Bangers on Bikes’ charity ride was born. Eight years later, the ‘Bangers on Bikes’ are still helping the underprivileged kids of Phuket. More than twenty five riders have participated over the years and have raised in excess of 4.5 million baht. This year we will have new cyclists joining the ride and that will open new doors for sponsorship

As well as supporting ACF in Phuket, the ‘Bangers On Bikes’ also donate to the Nak Suu Tigers Rugby Academy in Bangkok and this year’s local sponsor ‘Enfants du Mekong’. The ‘Bangers on Bikes’ are not an elite bunch of cyclists. They are all former rugby players and come in all shapes and sizes. Nobody within the group is a ‘cyclist’ - just normal blokes with a will to challenge ourselves and try to help out kids who are less fortunate than us. HISTORY OF THE RIDE Bangers On Bikes 2017 - Page 2 It is important to mention, that ALL monies donated, go directly to the charities. The riders pay their own way from flights, accommodation, meals to water. No riders expenses are paid by the charity


Phuket International Rugby Tens

26th-28th May 2017

Thanyapura Sports Club

Phuket Thailand

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