Football For All Fundraiser Tournament (Equality Through Sport) (G10):
On October 1st, 2015. a total of 60 players from all ages in CDNIS, and underprivileged children brought by InspiringHK Sports Foundation, participated in a student led “Football For All” charity fundraiser tournament, hosted by me. The event raised money for InspiringHK Sports Foundation in support of their cause to establish and promote equality for the underprivileged youths in Hong Kong through sports and charity, and to improve their social mobility. From the bright smiles, hearty laughter, and jolly faces of everyone, it was no doubt that everyone had an extremely enjoyable time, regardless of what the results were.
On the day of the event, everything ran extremely smoothly, and although there were slight problems about some participants not attending. I was prepared to solve the problems. This was because I had already formed backup plans, and thought ahead of the problems which may arise. I organised, created, and maintained a good communication with the volunteers and representatives of InspiringHK Sports Foundation throughout the months since July when we had our first meeting. A few weeks before the event, I had started to look at the weather forecast, and realised that there may be a possibility for rain on the day, so I organised a backup venue through Mr. Lovegrove, which was the 3rd floor Large Gym, in case of heavy rain. More importantly a huge part of the backup plan, was part of constant communication between me and the NGO I was working with. I made sure to have InspiringHK volunteers contact me right away whenever a participant from their side dropped out or was sick. That way I would be able to re-organise and evenly distribute teams, before the tournament. Even during the setup of the tournament at 8AM, I had their volunteers contact me, so that I could make last minute changes, and so that the tournament would start on time and run smoothly at 10AM. I also organised the event so that there were Chinese translators present, so that both sides would be able to understand what is being said during the opening and closing ceremonies. I also tried my best to ensure that there was at lead one Cantonese speaker per team to make it easier to communicate, in order for communication to be much easier when playing in games. Additionally, I selected a student participants to be team captain for each team to sort out playing positions, and even organised 12 volunteers from the NGO, to be leaders for each the of 12 teams of 5 players. They were extremely helpful in the organisation of the entire event, and it would not have been possible without them, since there were a total of 60 players from both sides to handle. I also got 2 referees from the NGO, to be match officials of the games which were occurring on the two half size pitches, each game lasted for 7 minutes.
The outcome led to a positive vibe and spirit that was evident, all participants were able to develop new bonds, connections, and relationships, through the opportunity for everyone to enjoy sports. The event also offered a brand new experience for the children, which would help the less fortunate children acquire new skills (in communication and football), and also a sense of care from the society, and the CDNIS community. It also allowed the students of CDNIS, to have a deeper understanding about the level of equality within society that we live in, and learn more about their needs and how societal problems should be solved.
Along with my leadership and the wonderful help from the parents and volunteers from the organisation, school supervisors, and the CDNIS Photography Team, the outcome of the event was extremely successful.
A big thank you to the CISPA Outreach Initiatives for funding the transportation fee for underprivileged children in Hong Kong to travel to CDNIS to take part in a student-led football fundraiser tournament. Thanks to Maxims Catering for providing 70 packed lunches for the players from both sides and the volunteers. Thanks to the Athletics Department for providing the event venue and equipment, Mr. Tim Kaiser, our upper school principal for supervising the event, and Ms. Jablonowski my PP supervisor for providing me with guidance for this event, and last but not least all the student participants who donated money to this cause. Overall everyone were all heavily important and beneficial in the success of this event.
I felt that the whole process in communicating and working with InspiringHK Sports Foundation has really helped me extend my knowledge the less privileged people living in Hong Kong . Working closely with InspiringHK Sports Foundation for half a year has broadened my knowledge about the state of the underprivileged youths and their families in Hong Kong, working with this organisation has brought me closer to people in my community who are not as privileged as I am. After working, coaching, talking, and hosting a tournament for the kids from the charity, I have come to learn that although we come from different backgrounds, we are actually not that different. This experience really brought everything to perspective and allowed me to think deeper, and explore my global context in more detail. I now understand the responsibility, I myself have in society to give back and develop the underprivileged of our society. I also now know how important it is to build relationships with other people in my community, because that is how a society can develop as a whole. I have also learned that it is not hard to share finite resources, and if one is capable of doing so, they are playing a big role in improving a society as it could eventually provide equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of anyones backgrounds, cultures, or wealth.
Quote from Mr. Kaiser (Principal/Event Supervisor) on Its impact on the underprivileged youths:
“First of all, sport is a great equaliser in society. People from all socio-economic backgrounds can participate but there must be opportunities made available. I really like the work that the HKG organisation does in making these opportunities available and it’s important that CDNIS students realise that they have opportunities that they make take for granted because they are so plentiful and so well supported.”
Quote from a volunteer: Kenneth Leung (CDNIS Photography Team)
On how well I have achieved my goal/success of the event
“I think you have achieved the goal very well because you have helped raise money through this event, as well as allowing CDNIS students and children from the charity to have fun in the games. On that day, I really say connection and teamwork with everyone and we all seemed like to belong in the same group/society. Through this event, I realise that many are not as privileged as us and we should give a hand to help them.”
Quote from a volunteer: Natalie Mok (InspiringHK Sports Foundation)
On the events benefit towards underprivileged children
“I believe that this has built up some confidence in them and they will be more opened to talk to foreigners in another language in the future”
The IB Retreat was an experience which I felt was a fantastic way of preparing us students for the upcoming 2 years of the challenging and rigorous IB Diploma Program. It provided me with crucial information, through sessions about TOK, CAS, IB in general, our futures, etc. . Two themes which stuck to me the most was Passion and Finding your Path.
Mr. Aldridge’s “Path to University” session was one of my favourites, as was able to changed my perception of universities, through allowing me to gain a much better understanding of how the school ranking systems really work, and how top ranking schools really compare with lower ranking schools. Additionally he also showed us a best fit university chart, explaining how it is ideal to be the best/smartest in your university (as opposed to being the least smart), as graduate programs often look at the best students in each universities. Meaning that studying in an average university where you are their smartest student, is much more beneficial, than studying in a top university where you are only an average student. His session could be summarised by one line he said, “It’s not about going to the best university, it’s about going to the best university for you”. I felt that this was very impactful, as it was very eye-opening in terms the many possibilities of my future, and allowed me to become more open-minded towards more universities. It also motivated me to work my hardest and stay organised during these two years.
Another session which I felt was very helpful, would be Ms. Safaya and Mr. Hamilton’s CAS and #startonething conversations. Through the activities, not only were they able to clarify how CAS works in the Diploma Program, they were also very good at pushing us to think about ways we could complete it in a fun way where we connect it with our passions. I felt like their talk about CAS revitalised my idea from last year for my Personal Project where I hosted a football fundraiser tournament between mixed teams of students in our school and underprivileged children who do not have to opportunity to enjoy sports, through working in collaboration with a local NGO called InspiringHK Sports Foundation. I also hosted a coaching session with my friend, to allow them to develop some skills in football before the actual tournament. Not only did the event generate a very positive vibe throughout the football pitch (through the engagement with the local community), it was also able raise $11,888, through support from student participants, CISPA Outreach initiatives, and Maxims Catering. During the summer this year, I had a conference meeting with the leaders of the same NGO, along with 4 trainees, where I was able to explain with them my idea to form a club at the school, where we will host even more sport fundraiser events with a wider variety of sports, NGO’s, and also utilise it as a way to gather more volunteers for their events. This was something I planned to discuss with the school once I returned from the summer, however due to the busy first week, I did not find the time to do so. However after the talk, they were both very supportive of my idea (since they knew of my project/helped me last year), I was inclined to establish a club as soon as possible, otherwise I may miss my opportunity.
Lastly, the IB Retreat wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Crossroads. The poverty experience that we did, was both a challenging, intense, and unique experience. I was able to learn more about the life of refugees through a first hand simulated experience of being a refugee, and learn about the extent of inequality and disparity within the world we live in, and also reminded me of how lucky I am. What I thought was really special about this experience was the speaker who hosted the simulation, not only was he a great speaker, he was able to tell very heart breaking stories of refugees, therefore motivating me to think of how I could also make an impact in the world. This again boosted my desire to make an impact, and form a school club, where I can continue to be involved in community and service with the issue of “equality in sports opportunities”. Which is something I am very interested in, since it includes my passion “sports/football”, while also containing a charitable aspect to it, where I am able to give back to the community, and also create sporting opportunities for those who are less fortunate. I also decided to take his contact details, in case I ever wanted to collaborate with him, or needed help.
Overall, I felt that the IB Retreat was an excellent way to get us back into grind after the summer, and also was very insightful, eye-opening, and motivating, allowing me to think more about my own passions, my future, and how I can make an impact in my community.
Can you think of any situations where your past experiences, culture or expectations have affected the way you have perceived the world?
I believe that I have had many situations where my past experiences, culture, and expectations have affected the way I have perceived the world. However one thing which has impacted my perception of the world the most would be through travel. Throughout my childhood, I have had many opportunities to explore the world; Vietnam, Japan, USA, Canada, China, Thailand, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc. just to name a few.
Through my travels, I have learned that as much as there are very blessed/fortunate people living in the world, there are also a great proportion of people who are underprivileged, and are in need of help from those that are blessed with wealth, health, shelter, etc. For example, in the summer of 2014 I visited a Lao Chai, Sapa, in Northern Vietnam, which is a mountainous rice field village. During this trip I was able to meet and talk to the Black Hmong hill tribes, and learn about their daily lives, which I was able to notice that their lives were remarkably much simpler as compared to mine, they mostly lived in tiny huts, and were very insistent in us buying their crafts, etc. but were always very happy. Although I did appreciate the simplicity in life the Black Hmong’s had, this experience made me realise how fortunate I am to receive such a great education, and to be living such an internationally diverse, and multicultural city.
Realising how lucky I am, has helped me build a keen interest in the societal problems in the world, making game constantly thrive to make a difference in my community. I have done this by donating money to charities/NGO’s I believe are meaningful. I have also decided to connect with the underprivileged in my community as well. Through my personal project I did last year, I was able to successfully host a football charity fundraiser event, which was a football tournament between students from our school and underprivileged children in Hong Kong (mixed teams). Through this, I was able to create equal opportunities for anyone to enjoy sports and the beautiful game of football, regardless of peoples backgrounds, culture, or wealth. In the end I was also able to raise $11,888, through support from student participants, CISPA Outreach initiatives, and Maxims Catering.
Through engaging with the local community, I was able to gain a much deeper understanding about the level of equality within the society that I live in, I was also able to learn much more about the needs of the underprivileged and how societal problems should be solved.