A warm welcome to the 2nd leg of the revamped HSBC SVNS. This weekend, the global festival of rugby sevens lands in our beautiful city of Cape Town.

The HSBC SVNS will be in full swing at the Cape Town stadium, and I’m delighted that our valued colleagues and clients here in South Africa will be among the first to experience this exciting new era for the sport, following the announcement of HSBC’s continued partnership.

A global network stretching around the world, with legs in eight iconic global cities, SVNS is a mirror of HSBC’s own international network. The sport connects local communities around the world and creates new opportunities, built around collaboration and passion. As players and fans from six continents stand side-by-side with us at the at the Cape Town stadium this weekend, the power of that international connection will be clear for all to see.

As part of our partnership, we continue to commit to creating opportunity for the next generation. Over the past six years, over 1,000 children have been introduced to rugby through the HSBC TAG Rugby programme, and we are delighted to announce that 160 children from 16 different schools will take part this year. This underlines the importance of supporting grassroots programmes that play a critical role in inspiring our young people and helping more children experience both the sport and values of the game we love.

Sport has an undeniable power to drive positive change. We are thrilled that having worked closely with our partner, World Rugby, in this area throughout our decade-plus involvement with the sport, HSBC SVNS has equal participation fees, with all legs featuring both men’s and women’s competitions.

In 2022, it was Samoa and the Black Ferns Sevens who lifted their respective trophies. We look forward to seeing if both teams can retain their titles in Cape Town this year, after an incredible tournament in Dubai last week.

On behalf of HSBC, I hope you all enjoy the incredible SVNS display this weekend. To the competing players and teams, we wish you the best, both here in Cape Town and for the rest of the series.

Muneer Ismail, CEO, HSBC South Africa