Discovery College student is a mini but mighty rugby man

Discovery College student is a mini but mighty rugby man

He's smaller than his teammates, but Cameron Smith tells Young Post that doesn't hold him back

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Cameron Smith (far right) celebrates with his team after the men's semifinal of rugby against Japan at 2013 Asian Youth Games.
Photo: Takumi Photography

In rugby, size and strength is an advantage. It's a rough and tumble sport, so having a few extra centimetres or kilos on your opponent can make a big difference when battling it out in the scrum.

When you're smaller and younger than your teammates, the challenging game becomes even tougher. But Cameron Smith hasn't let that hold him back.

The 17-year-old lists a gold medal at the 2013 Asian Youth Game (AYG) in Nanjing, playing in the 2015 U20 Junior World Rugby Trophy in Portugal in May, and winning the U20 Asian Rugby Sevens Series in August as some of his proudest achievements.

Cameron doesn't just excel at sports - he's on a Principal's Scholarship at Discovery College, which is awarded to a student who not only has the required marks for academic excellence but also makes additional exemplary contributions to the school.

But his success in rugby hasn't come easily. "Being one of the smallest players in the team, the physicality of the game can often be a challenge at higher levels," Cameron says.

"I spend a lot of time on strength and conditioning to prepare myself, but ultimately it's a tough challenge I face in every game."

Cameron hopes one day to represent Hong Kong in the Men's 15s or Sevens. "Since I was young, I have always dreamed of playing at the Hong Kong Sevens for Hong Kong," he says.

While his teammates may be older and bigger, Cameron says being on a team is all about the sportsmanship and teamwork.

"Our captain Richie 'The Beast' Lewis' pre-match talks about personal roles and responsibilities really empowers me to play for the team and understand my role in the team," says Cameron. "The idea of everyone having a role is really important to me as the youngest player in the squad."

Cameron speaks highly of his teammates, some of whom he played with for several years. "Everyone has come a long way from winning the AYG back in 2013," he says. "It's great to have these kinds of players to develop with as we play through the age groups.

"I think Daniel Archer had a really excellent tournament," Cameron says, speaking of his teammate's performance during the Asian Rugby Sevens, where Hong Kong won, defeating Malaysia 52-7 in the final. "He was clinical in attack and ruthless in defence. It is always great to see your friends playing well."

It's not all gushing praise, though - Cameron can't help smiling at the team's eccentricities.

"I think the strangest thing over the course of the tournament was Tim 'Mad Dog' Evens growling during the game," Cameron says, going some way to explain some of the players' unusual nicknames.

"Although ultimately he always managed to get the turnover, I'm not sure how necessary the growling was."


Cameron hopes to represent Hong Kong at the Sevens.
Photo: Takumi Photography


Bench Notes

What song/movie title best describes you when you're playing your sport?
Big Girls Don't Cry by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
The ability to see the future, and for one day predict everything that will happen. I would be able to spook my friends and maybe even win the lottery! I could also save people's lives by predicting any life threatening incidents, although I would have to convince them I really am clairvoyant.

If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Spaghetti Bolognese. This is my favourite food, and I can eat it for any meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Ten years in the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign-on as spokesperson for, and what product do you promote?
Mizuno. An underappreciated Japanese company that make some really good, light, comfy, handcrafted leather boots. The way they make the boots is almost an art form, and they're really nice boots to play rugby in.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Mini but mighty

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