February is an exciting time of year in Hong Kong. Not only can you watch contestants race around the world on TV, but you can also dash around western Hong Kong Island yourself by joining an exciting event.
Inspired by American reality TV show The Amazing Race, the Hong Kong-based charity Child Welfare Scheme (CWS) will hold its CWS City Challenge on the afternoon of February 18 to raise funds for various projects.
Established in 1995, CWS is a Hong Kong-registered charity that is dedicated to providing education, healthcare and social opportunities to children and their families in Nepal. CWS chief executive officer Zein Williams says that apart from raising funds, one of the main purposes of holding the City Challenge race is, simply, "to have fun".
The race will start at 2pm at the Hollywood Road Park in Sheung Wan, and teams will race around Sheung Wan district, though the detailed route is still to be decided.
The race will begin with a quick-fire quiz focusing on Hong Kong and CWS, and the team that performs the best in this leg will determine which sets off first.
The race will consist of clues, games and tasks that are related to the charity's work in Nepal.
At the various checkpoints, the teams will be challenged in a variety of games that will test skills, creativity and intelligence.
Among other things, teams will have to find evidence of Nepali culture in Hong Kong, play typical street children's games and visualise the highest mountains of Nepal.
The event will last for some three hours, culminating at 5pm, at which time all teams will gather for the awards ceremony.
The teams joining the race will be divided into three categories - school teams, corporate teams and general teams.
Each group requires a minimum of two and a maximum of five members. Over 150 people are expected to take part in this fun and meaningful challenge.
Oldham, Li & Nie (OLN), a law firm in Hong Kong, is one of the companies that will join the race. Christopher Hooley, head of OLN's China corporate commercial and employment practice groups, says the firm takes its corporate and social responsibility obligations very seriously, and actively encourages staff to involve themselves in a wide range of community projects.
Hooley says OLN employees are encouraged to take part in the event, and that the response from staff has been enthusiastic and encouraging.
However, competing with other teams and winning prizes is not necessarily their ultimate goal for signing up. "Our strategy is actually not to win any race," Hooley says. "It is to actively participate and bring about greater public awareness of CWS."
Hooley also believes that encouraging employees to get involved in community projects not only helps society but is also good for the firm. "It assists in building good relations within OLN, from partners to support staff," he says.
Talking about the firm's CSR programme, Hooley says that OLN is committed to endeavours which promote socially responsible and environmentally friendly business practices, equal opportunities, workplace diversity, and opportunities for their employees in the community in which they live and work.
He says the firm provides support and encourages staff involvement in a variety of community projects, and will continue to do so.
Moreover, the company has signed up to Community Business, a non-profit organisation that works to help companies build strong and beneficial relationships with the community in Hong Kong.
Senior lawyers from OLN also take part in different fund-raising events, Hooley adds.