Operation Santa Claus

Goals are golden as Dah Sing Bank hits net for Operation Santa Claus

With each score counting towards the final donation, participants were trying hard to rack up the tally

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 December, 2017, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 December, 2017, 11:08am

This year’s Dah Sing Football Challenge kicked off at Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai with 150 volunteers from the bank enjoying the fun with 30 children from the Changing Young Lives Foundation.

Waving air-filled batons, the children cheered on their favourites in the five-a-side friendly soccer match, played by teams from the bank’s internal competition.

Each goal scored counted towards the final charity donation, with the money raised going to Operation Santa Claus, the annual charity campaign organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

Shooting and scoring for charity at 20th annual Operation Santa Claus five-a-side soccer tournament

The children also got a taste of the sport as they took part in a series of challenge games led by Dah Sing Bank volunteers. The scores would also add to the charity donation and participants were trying very hard to rack up the goal tally.

Games included participants kicking and passing the ball in a zigzag formation, kicking the ball to hit different scores on a net hung on the goalposts and jumping in a rucksack for about five metres before kicking the ball into the net.

Dah Sing Bank volunteer Steve Cheng Tsz-kit was having as much fun as the children.

“I feel the event is very meaningful and sweet,” he said. “We enjoyed it very much, especially during this festive season, and we can help raise donations for Operation Santa Claus, so it means a lot to me.”

Cheng, who also played in the friendly match, managed to carry on with the games despite being hit hard by a ball kicked by an opponent.

“It’s OK and it’s worth [carrying on] because we can have fun by playing our favourite sport at the same time for a good cause. And I feel happy that the bank always supports charity events and this is the fifth year Dah Sing has raised funds for Operation Santa Claus.”

Barbies, Minions, Christmas Trees and superheroes battle on the squash courts in Hong Kong’s colourful Wing Ding Tournament for Operation Santa Claus

Another Dah Sing Bank volunteer, Nickonis Tse Lai-yin, said they tried to score as many points as they could to top up the funds.

“Today is a very warm day and it is a good chance for DSB to let the kids know more about football and the spirit of our sport. It’s good that we can show them the perfect example of how we can cooperate with others and how to help others through playing football,” he said.

Nine-year-old Andrew Ng Kuk-yu, who loves football, said he wanted to play with the adults during the match.

“ I love football and I’m very happy because we could watch the game today and get to play some games. I supported the losing team because I felt that they were very determined and trying very hard to win,” he said.

“I also played games and found it was fun, I really want to thank the volunteers for teaching me and showing me what to do.”

Lee Yuen-chin, also nine, said she didn’t want to leave because it was so much fun.

“I’m very happy today because we could play games together,” she said. “I have muscle problems so I’m very slow and can’t catch my breath, but today I don’t find it tiring at all, I think it’s also a good chance for me to train myself.

“The volunteers are so nice and I want to play with them again because I didn’t know what to do at the beginning but they were really nice and taught me step by step.”

The bank hopes to further foster the spirit of giving among employees by providing them with an opportunity to bring some joy and festive fun to more vulnerable members of the community during the Christmas season.