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SCMP Interview: WISE is funded by Operation Santa Claus!

SCMP Interview: WISE is funded by Operation Santa Claus!

Operation Santa Claus: Hong Kong NGO uses sport to empower women and break down stereotypes

  • Women and girls like Emma Yung, a Form Four student, have found an unexpected escape from daily troubles through sport
  • Women In Sports Empowered Hong Kong (WISE) delivers activities and workshops to help females gain confidence and take better control of their lives

Recent training in boxing has packed more than a punch for a 15-year-old girl, as the combat sport has helped her fight the challenges of life and gain control.

“In boxing, all we need to do is to punch the target directly in front of you,”

said Emma Yung Yuen-chi, a Form Four student.

“From this, I learned that whenever I am at a loss as to what to do, I can first tackle what I am facing at the moment, without worrying too much about things that will happen later,”

she shared, adding this approach had proved to work for her.

“My studies were giving me a lot of pressure. But when I was practising boxing, I felt as though the pressure was gone. It also gave me the impetus to do other sports, such as running. So I am now healthier and happier, and feel more in control of things,”

she said, smiling.
Emma Yung (centre) has found an escape from daily troubles through sport. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

These are just some of the benefits of sports highlighted by Women In Sports Empowered Hong Kong (WISE), which delivered the boxing sessions at Yung’s school, Ng Yuk Secondary School.

The NGO organises training in sports and related workshops and activities mainly for women and girls, who still face many gender-specific pressures and problems due to entrenched stereotyping despite improvements over the past decades.

“We aim to use sports to empower women and girls so that they will have increased confidence, motivation, resilience and determination to take control of their lives,”

said founder Alicia Lui Shun-yee.

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