Operation Santa Claus

Wing Ding squash charity day attracts star players

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 4:20am

Players and spectators can expect a busy time at the annual Wing Ding squash tournament this Saturday, with charity raffles and auctions happening throughout the day.

The annual charity day has raised donations for Operation Santa Claus since 2004, and the tournament co-ordinator, Tim Everest, expects this year to be no different.

"People have gotten very enthusiastic about it. A passion for giving is not just a seasonal thing," said Everest, a fur trader and an enthusiastic squash player himself.

This year's event, being held at the Hong Kong Football Club, will include silent bids for "experiences" such as family days out, in addition to traditional raffles and auctions for luxury prizes.

Last year's event raised HK$1,512,461 and Everest is aiming for HK$2 million this year.

The 140 players in 14 teams often dress up in funny costumes, which has become a tradition of the tournament.

The day has attracted people who play for fun and star players such as Alister Walker and Rebecca Chiu wing-yin. "It's not just for elite players," Everest said. "Anyone who can hold a racket is more than welcome to join in."

The Wing Ding tournament started as a separate charity event 14 years ago, to commemorate a special person in the squash community.

Yuen Kam-wing, known as Wing, was not a player, but a physically disabled Urban Council Squash Centre staff member who died at a young age because of his illness in 1998.

Players remember Wing as a source of encouragement and inspiration.

The Wing Ding Tournament joined Operation Santa Claus in 2004. Everest said he hoped the event would encourage more people to participate in charity work. "Sport is an incredible vehicle to bring people together for a greater good," he said.