Breakthrough Running Celebrates 200th Training Session
January 9, 2015
On Wednesday, Operation Breakthrough Running celebrated its 200th training session at the Tsing Yi Sports ground with about 25 kids, Police volunteers, social workers from HKFYGs, Adidas (HK) Ltd and two VIPs in the form of Mike Cartwright and Steve Wordsworth.
Mike was instrumental in setting up the Running activity in Tsuen Wan police District in 2009 when he was District Commander there. Steve is the very outgoing current District Commander of the District from which most of our volunteers come from, in the form of Police officers and civilian staff. Steve will be retiring from the Police on Friday 9th January and in addition to thanking both him and Mike for their outstanding support of the programme, the event also served to wish Steve all the best in his retirement.
As for the kids, they are all male and female referrals from the SP's (DVCs) Discretion scheme and are aged 11-21 years. The majority are local Chinese but we also have 5/6 Non-Ethnic Chinese (Indian and Pakistani) kids.
One of the NECs who has been with the programme is Geeman Deep. He was identified as a potentially good runner at an early stage and was encouraged to join the Tsing Yi Running Club to help with his development. As the Tsing Yi Club trains at the same time and venue as our group, we still see a lot of him and his development is not only good to see, but serves as an example to the other kids.
At 20 years old, Geeman has developed into a very pleasant and confident lad and is now serving as an Auxiliary PC in Tsim Sha Tsui Division. He has set his sights on joining the Police as a Constable and in addition to wishing him every success with his running, we wish him good luck with his career and a continuation of what we see as a 'success story'.
As for the event, in addition to a few short 'thank you' speeches and a quick pep talk whereby the words of the Late President Nelson Mandela were used to espouse the ideals of Operation Breakthrough, the kids participated in a 200 meter relay, for which I had unfortunately forgotten my running kit, which was followed by a prize giving and awards ceremony.Following this, as is customary, all repaired to a nearby McDonalds for some fine dining and carbo replenishment.
As always, a BIG thanks to the Police volunteers who spend so much of their own time making this work, the social workers from HKFYGs, Anne Tsui from Adidas (HK) Ltd who have been so supportive of this and other Breakthrough activities since 2005, and the kids themselves for wanting to make the change and improve their lives.
And for those of you who want to know the inspiring words spoken by the late President Nelson Mandela at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco 2000 are as follows:
"Sport, has the power to change the world. It has the Power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little esle does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport, can create hope where once there was despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers, it laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."