Round the Island Run Update

St. John’s College Round the Island Marathon 2005

St. John’s College (SJC) was founded in 1912. It is the first residential hall of the University of Hong Kong. Round the Island (RTI), which has been held in the midnight of 9 April 2005, is one of the most important events of the College. This tradition started in 1984, and we are celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. The aim of the event is to provide a challenge and a sense of unity to participating students.

The RTI is a 38 km long marathon. The RTI takes its participants around the Hong Kong Island, all the way from the starting point of St. John’s College, to West Point, Causeway Bay, Chai Wan, Tai Tam, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen and back to St. John’s as the finish. The theme of this year’s RTI is “to serve the elders who have served Hong Kong”. The money raised will be donated to Po Leung Kuk’s elderly services division. The Organizing Committee considers that due to the society’s huge support towards education, more and more people can enjoy the tertiary education in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, one should never forget the elders’ contribution to Hong Kong, making it possible that tertiary education becomes more available as compared with the past. University students should be grateful for their contribution to the society.

St. John’s College has always aimed at breeding excellent people for the society. The College positions itself as “a College, more than a Hall”, as it believes that students could learn and benefit through participating in this community. In fact, many distinguished figures in the society are alumni of St. John’s College.

The Guests of Honour for the RTI’s Opening Ceremony include: (in alphabetical order of surnames)

Dr. Albert Chau, Dean of Student Affairs, the University of Hong Kong;

Dr. Ho Pak Cheong, Chairman of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association, Ten Outstanding Young Person 2002;

Dr. Law Chi Kwong, Associate Professor, Social Work & Social Administration, University of Hong Kong;

Dr. Sarah Liao, the Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works;

Mr. Vincent To, Chairman of Po Leung Kuk;

Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor, the University of Hong Kong;

Dr. Vivian Wong, JP, Director of Professional Service & Medical Development, Hospital Authority; and

Dr. Yeung Sum, current Legislative Councillor;

Except Professor Tsui, Mr. To and Dr. Chau, all other guests are the alumni of the College. Amongst the guests, Dr. Liao was the Sports Captain of the College Students’ Association in 1971-1972, while Dr. Yeung Sum was the Chairman of St. John?s College Association in 1972 -1973. The alumni regard St. John’s as a community for life, and are willing to share their experiences with current students and support their activities. Some recent graduates of the College have even formed their own relay teams to participate in this event.

At the Opening Ceremony, several of our guests of honour gave speeches to address the enthusiastic and nervous participants.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lap-Chee Tsui expressed his appreciation in the students’ determination in accomplishing this challenge and considered this a very meaningful event, in the sense that the University, in addition to academic excellence, should have a better relationship with the society. The Vice-Chancellor has also reminded the students that this is a tradition they should treasure.

Dr. Sarah Liao appreciated the students’ effort in organizing such a meaningful event, and encouraged the participants to live the St. John’s spirit of striving for the best and not giving up until the end.

Dr. Yeung mentioned that contribution to the elderly service was important and recognized Po Leung Kuk?s effort in this area. He encouraged students to remember this serving spirit and to serve the society whenever possible.

Rev. Tong, Master of the College, was thankful for the guests and encouraged the students to be creative in organizing more meaningful activities.

Mr. To was grateful for the College’s effort in organizing this fund-raising activity for Po Leung Kuk, which was devoted to providing elderly care services in Hong Kong. He promised that every dollar raised would be well spent on providing services to the elders.

The opening ceremony was followed by a warm-up session. The 250 few participants followed the lead of the Guests of Honour and stretched their muscles in order to prepare for the strenuous marathon that was to come. The entire ceremony ended when Dr. Sarah Liao lead the participants in singing the College Song.

Over 250 people have participated in the RTI this year. Many students expressed that RTI was one of the biggest challenges in their university life. This activity aimed at training the perseverance and endurance of the participant and to help them deal with challenges in life. Tough though it may be, the experience was definitely worth the pain. Moreover, the experience of running around the Hong Kong Island with friends under the starry sky would surely become their precious memory.

Last year’s first runner-up Ng Tsz Kin, a medical engineering student and the St. John’s College Students’ Association Sports Captain this year, came first this year at a time of 3 hours 29 minutes. He stressed that the most important element of the competition was not the result, but the genuine gratification from the race as well as the purpose of the race, which was raising fund for charity. The participation of other HKU hall residents also excited him, as it was a great chance for other halls to get a taste of culture of St. John?s College. To our winner this year, the most memorable part of the entire 38 km was at Repulse Bay, because instead of enjoying the great sea view, he was “extremely hungry and sleepy”.

Miss Louise Hui captured the championship in the ladies’ section, with the time of 4 hours 52 minutes. Mr. Cho Chi Kong of Simon K Y Lee Hall and Miss Cindy Yeung, an alumni of St. John’s College, won the Invitation Competition, whereas the 6/F Alumni Team came first in the Alumni Relay section.

The opening Ceremony of the Round the Island was highlighted by a couple of honourable guests coming to the event including the existing Vice Chancellor of HKU – Professor Chui Lap Chee, Dr. Sarah Liao, Dr. Yeung Sum, Dr. Law Chi Kwong. The founders of the Round the Island Dr. Terry Chik and Mr. Lee Leung Ki were also present.

With a simple opening ceremony and a video to capture in 10 minutes the entire 38 km route, over 100 St. Johnians and Alumni runners started their warm up exercises led by Dr. Liao and Dr. Yeung.

The Round the Island Run organised by SJCSA is getting very good response from the Alumni.

So far there are nine Alumni team enrolled for the function and competing for the Alumni Cup donated by SJCAA.

Please come back to the College on this Saturday evening and cheer them up even if you will not run the race.

The nine Alumni teams are listed below:-

Curry Tse (1/F alumni), who will complete the route on his own

1/F AD Alumni Team (comprising of graduates from 2000 onwards)

6/F SFA Team (comprising of graduates from 1998 onwards)

牛家庄 (96-97 exco)

樂緣 (97-98 exco)

千禧約 (99-00 exco)

思源 (00-01 exco)

新莊 (01-02 exco)

傲言 (02-03 exco)