HK professional athletes felt the difficulties of humanitarian work through orienteering
MSF Orienteering Competition 2017—On Track to Save, the largest competition of its kind in Hong Kong, was held on the Lamma Island for the first time, where over 4,600 participants helped to raise around HKD$6.3 million to support MSF medical humanitarian relief work around the globe.
Mr. Rémi Carrier, Executive Director of MSF-Hong Kong, expressed his gratitude to people from all walks of life for supporting the event. He said that orienteering and MSF’s trials in humanitarian work had many similarities. For instance, an MSF team has to overcome barrier after barrier to provide medical care to people in need, who are trapped in the middle of a conflict or a natural disaster or an epidemic. While in orienteering, athletes have to keep searching for their control points in the open countryside. He hoped that the public would keep on supporting medical humanitarian relief work in different ways so that more people in need could receive medical care.
This year, a number of professional athletes, who are active in different sports, supported the Guest Run of the event. Hong Kong’s best speed roller skater, Ms. Vanessa Wong, formed a team with her boyfriend, professional swimmer Mr. Kent Cheung, as well as swimmer Mr. Derick Ng and baseball player Mr. Tony Wu. Vanessa Wong said that as professional athletes, they were more adventurous and that was why they still went into the underbrush which was as tall as them. “We then fell down a small slope and we got some bruises,” said Vanessa. Kent then added, “We were like “pioneers” that we used our own hands and feet to get away from the underbrush. Although we got some minor injuries, this was a very good experience. We did really feel the difficulties that MSF field workers would face in reality.” Kent said that to him, swimming was in fact much easier than hiking.
Another athletes’ team included the “Queen of 100m hurdles” Ms. Vera Lui, beach volleyball player Ms. Sonia Kong, Hong Kong A1 basketball player Mr. So Yi-chun and high-jump athlete Mr. Daniel Lui. Sonia recalled that they successfully found eight control points about one hour into the race. But then they were in trouble. “When the race seemed really successful to us, I lost the e-card. We were extremely frustrated. I think it is just like the field workers that they would also face difficulties and have to make difficult decisions on the front line. So they really need more support and more donations,” said Sonia.
The championship of the Guest Run went to “Collyer Logistics”. The Hong Kong Medical Association and Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine were the first and second runner-up respectively.
List of Guest Run Teams (in no particular order):
Run Peace - Ms. Vera Lui Lai-yiu, Mr. So Yi-chun, Ms. Sonia Kong Cheuk-yee, Mr. Daniel Lui Tsz-hin
魅力四射隊 - Ms. Vanessa Natalie Wong, Mr. Kent Cheung Kin-tat, Mr. Tony Wu Tsz-tung, Mr. Derick Ng Chun-nam
體育係迷途小羔羊 - Ms. Winifred Cheng, Ms. Cherry Cheung Tsz-ying, Mr. Brian Chan On-lap, Mr. Dorming Chau
The Hong Kong Medical Association - Dr. Leow Po-lin, Dr. Geoffrey Tang Chik-hei, Dr. Mandy Wong Oi-man, Dr. Peter Leung Kai-ching
Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine - Dr. Axel Siu, Dr. Gordon Wong, Dr. Louis Cheung, Dr. Wendy Cheng
Hong Kong Women Doctors Association - Dr. Jane Yeung Chun-chun, Dr. Mandy Ng Mang-ting, Dr. Yim Mo-kan, Dr. Kwok Lan
Collyer Logistics - Mr. Andy Russell, Mr. Rick Baron, Ms. Lili Baron, Mr. Alex Pilkington
Slotsmart Logistics - Mr. Hanspeter Kerner, Ms. Rosemarie Frank, Mr. Roger Kung, Ms. Rita Kwan
MSF Team - Dr. Ryan Ko, Dr. Shannon Chan, Mr. Albert Lee, Mr. Vincent Pau
To let participants learn more about the challenges of frontline work, the participants were once again assigned with different field worker identities to join the “frontline missions”. These were doctor, nurse, surgeon and logistician. This year, the theme of the frontline mission was refugees on the Mediterranean Sea. The famous Hung Shing Yeh Beach on Lamma Island was transformed to imitate the Greek shores where MSF showed a helping hand to refugees at risk.
Since 2002, MSF-Hong Kong has organized the MSF Orienteering Competition annually as one of our biggest fund raising events. The event is co-presented by the Orienteering Association of Hong Kong. Special thanks go to Campaign Partner Collyer Logistics International Limited; and Field Partner Popwin Giftware Manufacturing Ltd; Competition Partner United Italian Corp (HK) Ltd; and Action Partner Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited.