Many teenage Hongkongers struggle to express themselves – but what if they had a camera that they could use to help convey the way they feel about things through images?
ZoomIN Sports! is one of the youth empowerment programmes being funded this year by Operation Santa Claus, the charity drive run by South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK. It has been chosen to run a two-year project to help some of Hong Kong’s most at-risk teens find ways to express themselves, and also give them the confidence to step up in life.
Christine Fung Hiu-tung, senior marketing and communications manager for the InspiringHK Sports Foundation, which will manage the ZoomIN Sports! programme, says the project will teach around 320 teens how to tell their stories through sport photography.
The programme is open to young people with disabilities and students from ethnic minorities, as well as those living with behavioural or learning difficulties.
Participants will be recruited through schools and community networks. Those taking part will learn about photography and camera techniques, and will be able to hone their storytelling skills in training sessions with experts in this field.
“We will invite advertising professionals and fiction writers to teach programme participants how to tell a story,” Fung explained.
Apart from learning to use a camera, participants will also get to find out about different sports.
At the end of the programme, the participants’ images will be displayed at a public art exhibition that highlights the value of sports photography, raises awareness about the programme, and recognises the young people who took part in the ZoomIN Sports! project.
Established in 2012, the InspiringHK Sports Foundation runs sports training and learning programmes. It is made up of a staff of 13 and a team of volunteers.
It isn’t the first time Operation Santa Claus has worked with the foundation; it was also chosen to launch a fencing project in 2015.