A visually impaired marathon runner, a social enterprise founder with cerebral palsy and two record-setting blood donors have been recognised with Spirit of Hong Kong Awards, which for a decade have shone a light on the city’s unsung heroes. This year’s awards ceremony, co-hosted by the South China Morning Post and property developer Sino Group, took place on Thursday evening at the Conrad hotel. Post editor-in-chief Tammy Tam said the awards had reached a “special milestone”. “Since 2013, we have had the privilege of showcasing the inspiring stories of hundreds of exceptional individuals and groups who exemplify the virtues that characterise the very best of our community,” she said. “It is encouraging to see that in the decade since its conception, the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards remains true to its original purpose: to tell stories of unsung heroes that we may not otherwise hear about, and spread hope across our community.” Daryl Ng Win-kong, deputy chairman of Sino Group, said the company was honoured to be a part of the awards that recognised the people who endeavoured to make Hong Kong a better place. “The 10-year anniversary is a good reminder of the importance of kindness and positivity. I would like to sincerely thank our partner, South China Morning Post, for being with us on this wondrous journey,” he said. “This is the one award about these ordinary yet extraordinary individuals, who truly epitomise the can-do Lion Rock Spirit of care, courage and commitment … May their Hong Kong spirit continue to inspire us to build a better community for all.” The panel of judges picked six winners from the 18 finalists for awards in the categories of community, youth, perseverance, culture, innovation and teamwork. Inti Fu Tai-fan, a blind female runner who completed a marathon, won the Lion Rock People’s Choice Award as voted by Post readers. Fu is also a founder of an organisation that assists people with visual disabilities and organises life education talks. Deputy Chief Secretary Warner Cheuk Wing-hing said the nominees and winners had showcased “the spirit of Hong Kong” and captured the core values of care and perseverance. “These individuals and groups have made exceptional contributions to the lives of others, and through their personal experiences have inspired people to overcome challenges with a positive can-do spirit,” he said. “I’m particularly impressed by the achievements of our younger nominees. It is encouraging to see that the Hong Kong spirit is alive and well and being passed on from one generation to the next.” The community award went to Kwan Sek-yiu and Lee Siu-nam, who hold records for the most whole blood and blood component donations in Hong Kong. Kenneth Ng Yiu-Fai took home the perseverance award. Ng, who has cerebral palsy limiting his movement, established an online search platform for barrier-free facilities and two social enterprises that provide vocational support for people with disabilities. Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, chairwoman of the judging panel, said she wished the awards continued success in honouring the city’s “heroes and heroines”. “With humility, we thank our awardees for upholding Hong Kong’s traditional positivity against the odds of a pandemic, largely through their extraordinary vision, perseverance and sheer hard work,” she said. “That Hong Kong is poised to take flight again after the challenging last few years is due to their almost superhuman efforts.” Gingko House, whose Love Project Rice Box Team distributed free meals to the underprivileged, bagged the teamwork award. Record-breaking Hong Kong blood donors appeal to others to give the gift of life The youth award was given to Hannah Bailey Cherry, who empowered young people that lacked resources with career exploration opportunities and organised book donations for ethnic minorities and underprivileged students. Chapman Lee clinched the innovation award after developing diagnostic tools powered by artificial intelligence to lessen the workload of doctors at public hospitals. Winning the culture category was Tam Kin-lok, whose platform enabled local residents to rediscover their communities’ stories and cultural features.