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July
Shaolin monks show students real kung fu

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More than 8,000 students from schools enrolled in the School Sports Programme of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) have had the privilege of seeing Shaolin monks in the flesh performing martial arts feats that were decidedly more thrilling than movie special effects.

Since the monks arrived in Hong Kong last week, four Shaolin martial arts performances have been staged for primary and secondary school students by the LCSD, the Hong Kong Culture Association, the Songshan Shaolin Temple of China and the Hong Kong Wushu Union. The aim is to interest the students in taking up wushu as an extra-curricular activity.

The final performance took place today (July 9) at Po Kong Village Road School Village, where over 1,500 students admired the agility of monkey boxing, mantis boxing and the drunken fist, and gasped at Qigong displays in which the performers seemed to turn into men of steel.

The students naturally jumped at the opportunity to learn a few basic Shaolin boxing steps from the monks during the play-in session.

Star Hong Kong wushu athletes, including To Yu-hang, Cheng Ka-ho, Chow Ting-yu, Chan Siu-kit, Lam Chung-wai, Wong Woon-yee, Law Sum-yin, Wong Man-chuen and Cheng Kwok-yeung, also demonstrated various armed and unarmed wushu routines at today's show.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the show, LCSD's Chief Leisure Manager (Community Sports), Mr Wells Ho, said: "Wushu is part of our cultural heritage as well as a sport. It not only improves physical health but also toughens the spirit. And it instills in students a sense of respect for their teachers."

A Wushu Outreach Coaching Programme was introduced under the School Sports Programme in November last year with assistance from the Hong Kong Wushu Union, which sent professional coaches to train students after school.

So far, 52 wushu training courses have been organised for 1,400 students.

Interested schools may download the application form from the LCSD website at www.lcsd.gov.hk, or call the department's Community Sports Section at 2601 8861 for details.

End/Wednesday, July 9, 2003

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