A taste of hardship for HK orienteers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am

HK$2m raised at MSF Orienteering Competition

Nearly 2,000 participants joined the MSF Orienteering Competition 2008 at Ngong Ping last month.

They raised more than HK$2 million for the medical humanitarian relief works of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Despite the cold temperatures and heavy fog, the 1,800 participants enjoyed themselves.

Teams from government departments, including the Immigration Department and Fire Services Department, competed with other organisations for the newly established Government Department and Public Organisation Trophy and the Corporate Sector Trophy.

Representatives from three local medical organisations, as well as guests from political and performing art sectors, joined the VIP Race with MSF field volunteers.

And among the hundred of families that joined the Family Category, the youngest participant was only a year old.

Another newly established prize, the Inter-Secondary School Trophy, attracted 60 students from 15 secondary schools.

The Inter-Secondary School Trophy was divided into boys and girls categories. Each team comprised of two members. The boys' competition was especially fierce.

All three top teams scored full marks. St Francis Xavier's College was just one minute faster than Queen's College, clocking 1 hour and 25 minutes to clinch the crown. Third place went to La Salle College.

The two boys from the winning team were Form Six students Lee Kin-wai and Leung Wai-pong. It was Kin-wai's third time in the competition, previously winning silver and bronze. The keen orienteer says, 'I love running freely around a mountain.'

Wai-pong says the competition helped him learn more about the work of MSF. 'The weather is cold and the fog is heavy this year. I found the competition very hard. It made me understand how difficult it is for MSF volunteers to help people in remote areas.'

In the girls' category, Diocesan Girls' School won gold and silver, while Belilios Public School took bronze.

This is the seventh year that MSF-Hong Kong have run the orienteering competition. The competition aims to raise awareness of the difficulty of getting health care to those in remote areas, and allows participants understand the challenges faced by volunteers.