NOTHING worthwhile comes easy. This motto certainly should ring a bell among the 262 young people who obtained their Duke of Edinburgh Award (DEA) scheme's silver awards after months of painstaking endeavour. The 58th silver award presentation of the DEA scheme was held last week at Queen's College with one of its alumni, Police Commissioner Eddie Hui Ki-on, presenting the awards. 'The DEA can practically train members to have more initiative and creativity not only in the activities [required for completing the award], but also their personal lives,' he said. 'I'm glad to see that these recipients also contributed to society with their numerous social services.' It was the second presentation of the DEA silver awards this year with the first honouring 255 young people. To earn a silver award, participants have to display competency and determination in the areas of service, expeditions, skills and physical education. One of the recipients, Andrew Leung Tze-wung of La Salle College, told Young Post his former best friend's 'betrayal' made him fight for his award. 'He was the one that got me involved in the DEA silver award programme,' Tze-wung said. 'But at the last minute he chickened out [of the hiking expedition on Lantau Island]. This made me so furious that I vowed to give my best to prove that he had made the wrong decision.' And he succeeded. Tze-wung, who chaired the school's DEA society last year, recalled he had spent an unforgettable Christmas Eve with the other expedition members. They forced themselves to wake up at two in the morning and hiked for three hours in heavy downpour before reaching Lantau Peak for a glimpse of a mesmerising sunrise. Yet two deaf recipients had to work even harder to override their handicap and win the honour. Frank Wong Shek-wong and Cheng Yee of Lutheran School for the Deaf said (through a sign language instructor) their experience in the programme had opened up their world. 'I strained my ankle when I was hiking in Sai Kung, but the expedition members took good care of me,' the 18-year-old Form Five graduate Shek-wong said. He said his disability hindered his interactions with other participants but he found he could communicate by writing notes. He said the scheme had improved his interpersonal skills. The Scout Association of Hong Kong Operating Authority produced 25 award-winning Scouts. One girl scout, Lok Lai-ming, said the programme had given her greater confidence about herself and her friends. 'The hardest part is definitely the hiking expedition,' she said. 'Have you ever sleep in pouring rain with scant trees as your only shelter? 'But the fun was that I could test my outdoor survival skills and toughen myself. That is the whole point.'