Early goal as quiz night raises HK$70,000

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 November, 2009, 12:00am

There's never a dull moment at the annual Five-A-Side Football Tournament launch party.

Two years ago, the event was held outdoors on one of the coldest nights of the year. Last year, a person took a misstep and fell backwards off the back of a slightly elevated stage.

This year, the party on the Cafe Deco rooftop on The Peak was a lively, fun and adults-only quiz night - a contrast to the organisers' more family-focused soccer tournament, which takes place on Sunday.

Guiding the launch along was quiz mistress Wendy Herbert, a public-speaking coach. She barked soccer-related trivia questions and insulted more than 20 participants who were brave enough to face her quips.

While it may appear unorthodox to some, Brian Crockford, who organises the launch party and the tournament, said the quiz night generated excitement and highlighted the spirit of giving.

'I wanted to throw a small party to make the draw to decide who plays who... Now this football quiz has become a social event and is a brilliant precursor of the main game,' Crockford said, giving much credit to Cafe Deco for their help.

The launch raised approximately HK$70,000 from entry fees, sponsorships and bids for auction items such as an hour of RTHK Radio 3 airtime and a group portrait published in the South China Morning Post. The funds go to Operation Santa Claus, the holiday appeal organised by the Post and RTHK. Quiz winners Jardine Ruby Murrays won a dinner for six people at Cafe Deco Macao, along with round-trip ferry tickets. DWP placed the highest bid for a group portrait, and Clifford Chance paid for the privilege of being on the airwaves.

The soccer tournament, in its 12th year, will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Operation Santa Claus and its 13 beneficiaries. Since it began, the tournament has brought in roughly HK$6 million for the annual holiday campaign.

'Very different from this launch, where it's been made clear to be an adult event, the tournament is going to be very much one suitable for families,' Crockford said.

The soccer tournament, free to the public, takes place in Stanley Fort, a military installation accessible by car or the New World First Bus No14 bus route. With 20 teams and more than 100 10-minute games, it will last from 9am to 4.30pm.

There's also a children's mini-tournament and a special match featuring learning-disabled students from the Nesbitt Centre, an Operation Santa Claus beneficiary.

Anyone who attends the tournament should be ready to present their Hong Kong ID card or passport to guards at the gate, Crockford said.

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