The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tournament is just around the corner. And in addition to the three-day festival of rugby, you definitely should not miss the "Support Hong Kong Team" Drawing Competition exhibition. The outstanding finalist entries of the competition are now on display at the Ground Plaza of HSBC Main Building in Central.
Selected by a judging panel composed of representatives from Young Post, HSBC and the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, 20 top drawings of each primary and secondary school categories are displayed at the three-week-long exhibition that kicked off last Monday.
Executives from HSBC and the Hong Kong Football Rugby Football Union attended the launching ceremony, presented the certificates to the finalists and saw their drawings.
It is never easy for participants to stand out from more than 300 entries. One of the recognised student artists is Natalie Wong Suet-yiu, a Form Six student at Chiu Lut Sau Memorial Secondary School in Yuen Long.
The talented 17-year-old said she joined the competition because of an invitation from her classmate Lee Tsz-ting, who is a rugby player and represented Hong Kong at last August's Asian Youth Games in Nanjing .
"Tsz-ting encouraged us to join the competition and she gave me some 'professional' advice when I worked on my drawing. Actually I invited her to come and support me, but she is fully occupied and can't make it."
Natalie shared her process of brainstorming behind the creation of the draft of her piece.
"It's a drawing about rugby, so I think having a field in it is a must. I drew a player in a Hong Kong team jersey scoring a great try in a match. Then I added the Golden Bauhinia Statue in Wan Chai and the HSBC Main Building in Central in the background to represent our city. I also wrote 'Go Hong Kong Team' in [Chinese] calligraphy to highlight the theme of this competition," said Natalie.
Grade Four student William Tsoi Wai-nam, nine, who studies at Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Branch Primary School in Tin Shui Wai, is one of the 20 finalists in the primary school category.
His drawing shows Wai Bei, the Hong Kong team mascot, cheering with kids of different backgrounds for the Hong Kong team.
"I wanted to participate in the competition and didn't think about winning a prize or not. I am happy to attend the event today," said William. "I discussed [the idea] with my mum. I looked at the reference paper showing Wai Bei distributed by our teacher when I drew this piece."
Freeman Tsoi Man-fai, William's father, said his son has participated in numerous drawing competitions but this rugby-themed initiative was so far the biggest of them all.
"We will invite our relatives and friends to see William's drawing at the exhibition for sure," said Tsoi.
Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events at HSBC, was impressed by the high quality of the drawings. He said lots of people, including tourists visiting Hong Kong, would be able to see these students' works as well as some of the stars of the Hong Kong team when passing by the atrium of the HSBC Main Building.
"I see two things in the entries: the wonderful artistic talent here in Hong Kong, and also the great understanding of students in supporting their team at the Hong Kong Sevens, a world-class event," said Morgan.
"As the official co-title sponsor of Hong Kong Sevens and the principal partner of the Hong Kong team, we want to promote rugby to local kids.
"Rugby is quite new to the children, and we want to encourage them to get behind the Hong Kong team and get involved in rugby."
A winner will be selected in each category and they will receive their prizes at the announcement ceremony of the Hong Kong squad for the Sevens on Saturday.
The secondary school winner will be awarded three Day Two tickets to the Sevens and a jersey autographed by Hong Kong players, while the primary school winner will get three Day Three tickets and a once-in-a-lifetime ball carrier opportunity for one of the finals.