Circus arts aim for schools

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 March, 2008, 12:00am

HKIEd and KELY Support Group press for training to be included in PE curriculum

More than 400 students and teachers from 17 local schools took part in a plate-spinning challenge last Sunday. They spun about 450 plates in one minute and are hoping to make the Guinness World Records.

The bid was part of the 'Coca-Cola Get Active! Be Empowered! Programme' (GABE), organised by KELY Support Group and Coca-Cola China Limited for the second successive year.

More than 1,000 students attended health workshops and 100 students from five schools received circus arts training, including plate-spinning, diabolo (the whirling and tossing of a spool on a string tied to two sticks), the human pyramid and stilt walking.

They were appointed as youth ambassadors to promote circus arts, share their skills and encourage a positive attitude among their peers.

'The GABE programme has proved to be a huge success in local schools,' said Jessie Yee, the executive director of KELY Support Group. 'According to our latest student survey, over 90 per cent of respondents expected to continue participating in circus arts, and more than 95 per cent hoped to see circus arts integrated into their school curriculum.

'Circus arts are rooted in creativity, originality, and are heavily dependent on interaction between the participants. It is also a very easy sport that almost everyone can participate in.

'Therefore, we are confident in pushing for the incorporation of circus arts into local secondary schools.'

Li Chung, senior lecturer of creative arts and physical education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), said HKIEd and KELY Support Group are advocating the integration of circus arts into the physical education (PE) curriculum at local schools.

'During training, students are continuously learning from their mistakes while improving their skills, a process that helps to develop a positive rapport between them and their teachers,' said Dr Chung.

'In fact, in the coming months, we will launch a teach-to-teacher programme for teachers to take up circus arts training, in order to ensure that these skills will eventually be taught accordingly.'

Since GABE was launched in 2005, the programme has enjoyed extensive attention and support from local schools. To date, GABE has successfully reached out to 42,000 students from 35 schools.

For more details, visit