To encourage students to discover and spread inspiring stories, BOC Group Life Assurance Company Limited (BOCG Life) has set up the BOCG Life Young Anchor Programme 2015. From more than 600 applicants, 42 Form Three students from more than 20 local schools were selected as news anchors and paired up to present inspiring stories.
"A news anchor plays an important role, unearthing encouraging stories to share with the public,” says BOCG Life Chief Executive Terry Lo, one of the judges of the competition. “By sponsoring the programme, BOCG Life would like to inspire students who want to be professional news presenters or journalists in the future.”
To help prepare the students for their news presentation, a Young Post journalist shared practical tips on how to research, interview, write scripts, and present news. The final was held last month at the Bank of China Tower, and the winners were Osten Chan Chun-ngok and Edward Wong Hon-yin from St Paul’s College.
“It’s my first time to join this kind of competition, so I’m really happy I won,” said Osten. “This made me more confident in my public speaking skills, so I’d like to join more competitions like this.”
It wasn’t the first public speaking competition for Edward, but he was still surprised he and his partner won. “I didn’t really expect to win the competition … I just wanted to try and be an anchor,” said Edward. “I didn’t feel too much pressure, and I think that’s why we performed so smoothly.”
The runners-up, Linden Chau Long-yi from St Francis' Canossian College and Alvina Yang Yuk-yu from St Paul's Convent School (Secondary Section), were also surprised they came in second place. Mostly because they were from different schools but still managed to work so well together.
“I’m the only one from my school, so we were partnered up together,” said Linden. “We first met at the workshop just two weeks ago, so of course I learned a lot about teamwork.”
Her partner agrees. “I used to work only with friends before, but we worked together well,” said Alvina. “Not only did I learn about news anchoring, but I also made a new friend.”
The other three teams in the final, Sabrina Lee Yat-yee and Janice Yu Chung-man from St Paul's Convent School (Secondary Section), Suki Lai Sze-ki from PLK Lo Kit Sing (1983) College and Andy Siu Wing-lee from PLK Mrs Ma Kam Ming Cheung Fook Sien College, and Felicity Lam Yi-lok from Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School and Aljun Lam Ching-tung from St Rose of Lima’s College were awarded the merit prize.
“I think it’s a very good experience for all of us because we don’t have many chances for news anchoring in Hong Kong,” said Sabrina Lee Yat-yee, one of the merit prize winners. “I previously joined a lot of public speaking and dramatic speaking competitions, but never news anchoring. A news anchoring competition is a special chance for us because it’s in a different format and a different style.”
Yoyo Li Pui-yau from Diocesan Girls’ School, who was one of the semi-finalists, also agrees. “The nature of the competition is unique and unconventional because normally in public speaking competitions you just go up on stage with a pre-written speech, but here, they give you an identity as a news anchor,” she said. “I learned that the speaking style should differ from that of conventional delivery of speech. Normally you’re just speaking to a select panel, but as a news anchor, you’re speaking to everyone.”
BOCG Life has been providing protection to thousands of families whose children are pursuing their dream careers. The programme aims not only to help students be more confident in their presentations and public speaking, but also to learn about inspiring stories and make friends, which Terry Lo saw happening.
“I observed that they had gained not only knowledge but also friendship. The students have had loads of fun and made friends with their peers from other schools,” said the Chief Executive of BOCG Life. “The promotional slogan for this programme is ‘inspire and empower’ and this objective has definitely been achieved.”
BOCG Life’s sponsorship of the BOCG Life Young Anchor Programme was to continue the success of a similar programme with South China Morning Post’s Young Post last year.
“Through the continued partnership with SCMP, BOCG Life opens up the opportunity for aspiring students within the local school network to become journalists,” said Terry Lo. “This year, they had to submit a ‘Dare to Dream’ themed article in the selection process, and stand out from the others in the news presentation competition before they were recognized as winners. Becoming an award-winning news anchor is a dream for these youngsters who have enrolled in the programme, and BOCG Life offers a platform for them to make it come true and build up their confidence.”