The cheers and laughter of some 100 athletes from nine corporate teams filled the air at the Ma On Shan Sports Ground as they gathered to have fun and raise money for Operation Santa Claus.
They were taking part in the first corporate sports day to be organised by the annual fund-rasing appeal co-sponsored by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.
To compete for the Operation Santa Claus Champion of the Day, participants had to enter four rounds of fun and competitive games, including the three-legged race, sack skipping and tug-of-war.
In opening remarks, the head of RTHK's Radio Three, Hugh Chiverton, thanked the participating teams for their contribution to the 16 beneficiaries of this year's appeal.
'Over 1,000 people, particularly children, will benefit from your effort,' he said.
The event was aimed at mobilising more corporations to support the holiday fund-raising appeal.
Established in 1988, the annual charitable initiative has in the past 23 years supported more than 100 different charities.
As the athletes were enjoying themselves on the sports ground, 19-year-old Ng Hoi-sang and his schoolmates were chatting in the spectator stand, discussing which of the games were more fun.
'I am very happy that I can watch the sports competition,' wheelchair-bound Ng, himself an athlete, said.
'I like participating in sports as well as seeing them,' added the student at Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School, who competes in the 100-metre wheelchair race.
Physical education teacher Chau Chun-yan brought seven students including Ng to the see the sports day. He expressed gratitude to Operation Santa Claus for helping the school and inviting the students.
'They have various disabilities and going outdoors is not easy for them. So apart from the school's sports day and the joint-school sport competition, the students don't have the chance to visit sports grounds.'
The Cathay Pacific Airways team took home the sports day's trophy - and won two return Cathay business-class air tickets between Hong Kong and Singapore.
Toys 'R' Us was first runner-up followed by the Sino Group. Other participating teams included Convenience Retail Asia, Li & Fung Trading, Melco Group and Trinity.
Li & Fung, which entered six teams, won an award as the most supportive.
Cathay team member Kinna But said the 16 colleagues who joined the sports day were all part of the company's volunteer team.
'We have had a great morning,' she said. 'We participate in the sport days because our company is committed to making a contribution to the community. Some of our colleagues took a day off from work because we all think this is an event we should support.'
'We had great fun and our participation will make a meaningful contribution to the needy,' said Travis Mok of the Toys 'R' Us team.
The Boys' Brigade Hong Kong, one of the beneficiaries of this year's appeal, Baptist University and the Operation Santa Claus 2010 University Ambassadors acted as volunteers for the sports day, which raised HK$270,000.
How you can give
- Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
- Donations can be made at ATMs or at any branch of HSBC: account number 502-676299-001 for SCMP CHARITIES LTDOPERATION SANTA CLAUS
- You can make a donation by cheque, payable to 'SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS' and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong
- Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt with your name, address and phone number to the address above.
- Contact us via e-mail at email@example.com, telephone 2680 8159 or visit us online at osc.scmp.com