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HK Public Libraries celebrate 4.23 World Book Day with "Sports and I" creative competition

With the Beijing Olympics just a few months away, primary and secondary students in Hong Kong have expressed their views on the sporting world and its stars through a creative writing competition with the theme "Sports and I".

The competition, organised by Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), was held to celebrate "4.23 World Book Day" and the 2008 Olympics.

Here are the thoughts of two students:

"Sang Lan proves that failure doesn't mean the end of the world." ... "I've often thought of giving up when I faced obstacles as I've forgotten the real joy of doing things. Wong Kam-po taught me to cherish every opportunity and enjoy doing things."

"I like his (Roger Federer) generosity and compassion to help those in need … He doesn't cover himself in fame and the limelight. He stops and thinks of others who are in need of help, love and care ..."

Yao Ming, Tiger Woods, Lee Lai-shan, Sang Lan, Wong Kam-po, Li Ning were the favourite sports idols of many students. It is not just the fame and achievements that impressed the students, but the dedication, hard work, optimism and humility of the stars and their generosity and passion in sports also affected the values of the youngsters.

Speaking today (April 19) at the prize presentation ceremony of the creative writing competition, the Assistant Director (Libraries and Development) of the LCSD, Mr Lee Yuk-man, said youngsters not only learned about the achievements of the athletes, but also their determination and courageous spirits in life.

He said the theme of "Sports and I" for the competition not only promoted reading and writing among students, but also aimed to promote the universal and cultural values conveyed by the Olympic Games.

As a support to World Book Day, the HKPL has, since 2004, organised diverse extension activities including competitions and seminars to enhance the interest in reading among students and the community at large.

More than 1,300 entries from about 100 schools were received this year. Most of the winning entries talked about years of toil of both local and Mainland athletes. Some of them focused on the encouraging stories of the athletes around the world.

Mr Lee said students could grasp sportsmanship, as well as express and explore its real meaning to life by using different angles. He added that the works from the Junior Primary participants were creative and of a high standard.

The competition consisted of three types of entries. For the Junior Primary (P.1-3) category, students had to design a collage work by using the green materials to introduce their favourite sports activities. Senior Primary (P.4-6) and Junior Secondary (F.1-3) participants were required to write a book report or an essay in Chinese or English on a chosen athletes-related book or materials about their favourite athletes and sports stars. Senior Secondary participants had to write an essay in Chinese or English to express their own views and feelings of a particular moment or an event in sports.

Adjudicators chose the 20 best entries from Junior Primary category; 12 best entries from each category of the Senior Primary and Junior Secondary groups and eight best entries from each category of the Senior Secondary groups.

Winning works from the competition will be on display at the Southern Entrance of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) today and tomorrow (April 19-20) and at the Exhibition Gallery of the HKCL from 1pm on April 21 to 5pm on April 23. A roving exhibition will also be held at 12 public libraries from April 28 to September 14. The winning entries will also be uploaded on HKPL's website.

To coincide with the celebration, the Shenzhen Library also organised a writing competition on "Sports and I". Award-winning works of both places will be displayed on April 23 at Shenzhen Library. To promote cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the award winning works of the competition in Shenzhen will also be exhibited in public library venues.

Readers who borrow library materials from the HKPL on April 23 (Wednesday) will receive a souvenir on a first-come-first-served basis while stock lasts.

A "meet the authors" talk is also being held to herald the World Book Day, among which, local author and experienced news-reporter Sharon Cheung Po-wah will share her experience in writing at 2.30pm today at the HKCL. The talk is conducted in Cantonese.

For programme enquiries, please visit the website or call 2928 4603 or 2921 2660.

Ends/Saturday, April 19, 2008
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