PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am


Give the gift of life with blood donation

While needing a blood transfusion is not a matter of choice, becoming a blood donor is.

Many people donate blood regularly to help others and this is a crucial service to those struggling with illness.

If these donors are parents, they can influence the next generation to continue in this spirit. However, with the increase in accidents, there is often not enough blood to go around.

Many people have the wrong idea that donating blood will harm them, but it is those in need of this blood who will suffer if they don't.

In addition to helping the patients, there may be health benefits for donors.

A recent study by Finnish scientists showed that donating blood lowers the chances of heart disease and improves metabolism.

We can all start helping others by donating blood; it will also enrich our lives.

Ivy Chan, Leung Shek Chee College

A little thought can solve our differences

Recently, the D&G incident sparked a fierce debate between Hong Kong and mainland citizens.

I know Hong Kong people feel upset by the behaviour of some mainland tourists who are unhygienic, jump queues, and don't let passengers get off trains first.

But apart from blaming them for being rude, what have we done to improve this situation? Do we ever consider the cultural differences between us?

Instead of scolding or arguing with them, we should launch some campaigns and distribute leaflets which help them to learn about local customs. This would eliminate cultural misunderstandings.

We are all Chinese. We live in the same country. We should help each other. I think a harmonious society can help the country to develop in a more advanced way.

We should all unite and allocate more resources to boost our education systems in order to improve people's standard of living and ensure a bright future.

Joyce Chan Ching-yan, Maryknoll Fathers' School

Put fitness first and stay in the race

I read several news reports about the Hong Kong marathon which was held earlier this month. Many runners were sent to hospital and one even died after taking part in the race.

While such incidents do happen during marathons, I think runners should pay more attention to their health and fitness.

The most important thing is good preparation. Completing a marathon requires much more energy than a person normally needs, so runners must do a lot of exercise in the run-up to the competition. Then they will have enough energy to carry them through the entire race.

Besides exercise, runners also need to be aware of their physical fitness during the event.

Running long distances places a huge burden on the heart and lungs. If they feel uncomfortable while they are running, they should stop immediately.

Some people may think it is not good to give up so easily. However, sometimes, giving up can be a kind of bravery.

Marathons are a meaningful activity which helps promote physical exercise among the community, but runners should not end up becoming sick.

If runners have enough exercise before the marathon and pay attention to the state of their body while running, they can prevent accidents which could have tragic results.

Lau Chui-shan, King Ling College

Age is no barrier to distance running

A new record was set in last year's Toronto marathon. It was not for speed, but age.

Fauja Singh, who also competed in this year's Hong Kong marathon, is 100 years old. Singh, who is originally from India and now lives in Britain, began running marathons when he was 89. And he plans to keep running.

His coach says that in Singh's language, Punjabi, 'there is no such word as impossible'.

Singh began running when he tragically lost his wife and son. Running helped give him a new focus on life. Now he runs to stay in shape. He says that he does not feel old. His advice for younger people is to never think that they are old, to eat a healthy diet and to keep exercising.

Li Chui-yi, Christian Alliance S.C Chan Memorial College