Behind the Trophies: Meeting the Award-Winning Sportsman Lawyers

The Recreation and Sports Programme (the “Programme”) is an annual programme under the Recreation and Sports Committee (“RSC”). Its aim is to encourage members to lead a balanced life in spite of demanding work routines and to network with their fellow members and other professional bodies by taking part in various recreational and sporting activities.

In recognition and appreciation of those members under the Programme who have been active participants and promoted good sportsmanship, the RSC invited nominations and applications for potential recipients for the Outstanding Performance Awards. The candidate with the most outstanding performance was also considered for The Recreation and Sports Person of the Year Award.

For 2016–17, RSC is pleased to announce that Ms. Eliza Chang was named the Recreation and Sports Person of the Year, while Ms.Vivan Yu and Mr. Bruce Fu both received Outstanding Performance Awards. Here, the awardees reveal their secrets to success and explain how they manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Ms. Eliza Chang, Recreation and Sports Person of the Year

1. When and why did you start playing sports/engaging in recreational activities?

Swimming has always been my favourite sport. My father taught me swimming when I was about eight years old. In Form 1, I joined the Hong Kong National Squad Swimming Team. My main strokes are freestyle and butterfly.

It is great to have some distraction-free time to swim, which I find is the best way to relieve my work pressures. For me, endorphins generated from sports keep me going.

2. What made you join the Programme?

I hope to influence people around me to take part in swimming and other sports so I helped the Law Society set up the Swimming Team in 2005 where I served as Captain for six years. Now I am the Honorary Captain.

I also chaired the RSC for around five years with the belief that members can network with each other and be more supportive of things that are happening in the profession through joining the Programme.

3. Do you think recreation and sports help you at work?

Swimming keeps me fit and helps me work more efficiently with a clear mind. Competing in swimming races and winning medals are the driving force for achieving my work-life balance. It forces me to leave the work desk and take up more training sessions.

Participation in sports makes us realise we are much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and that when challenged we will be able to rise to a higher level.

4. How would you describe your relationship with other team/group members?

I treasure my friendships with my teammates, captains and convenors and committee members of the RSC. I am a reasonable and easygoing person with a good temperament so I believe they like working with me. This may be one of the reasons that I received this award.

5. How do you see the role of the coach?

Coaches assist team members in developing to their full potential. They analyse members’ performances, help them improve their skills and provide encouragement. Coaches help create the right conditions for learning and training and they find ways to motivate members.

6. Can you share your feelings towards being awarded?

I feel proud and honoured to receive this award and would like to thank the Law Society for conferring this honour on me. I hope I can inspire my fellow members to actively take part in recreational and sporting activities.

7. How would you define sportsmanship?

Sportsmanship is being disciplined, focused and dedicated. Nothing is impossible and failure makes you stronger. Only hard work will make you excel. Sportsmen should work with others and be good teammates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.

8. Do you have any particularly memorable sporting moments?

Swimming connects the three generations in my family. The precious and unique experience of taking part in competitions together with my family is something that I have always treasured.

President Thomas So presented the Recreation and Sports Person of the Year Award to Ms. Eliza Chang, the first person to receive this award since its establishment. 

Eliza (middle), her dad, and her mum won a total of 23 medals in the South East Asia Pacific Masters Swimming Competition in April 2016. 

Eliza and her son were crowned champion in the 2 x 25m Family Relay in the Law Society Swimming Gala this August with a record-breaking time of 28.93 seconds. (Image source: The Law Society of Hong Kong


Ms. Vivian Yu, Awardee of the Outstanding Performance Award

1. When and why did you start playing sports/engaging in recreational activities?

I have been a fervent sports player since a very young age. My love of sports has helped me discover the many benefits in developing physical and mental well-being. I now play badminton twice a week.

2. What made you join the Programme?

As one of the founders of the RSC, it was my hope to share my passion with my professional colleagues and encourage them to take part in recreation and sports. It is also a good way to make friends and to enlarge our social circles.

3. Do you think sports and recreation help you at work?

Work and life complement each other; they are not independent of each other. They require similar qualities in a person: dedication, focus, perseverance, as well as resilience and stamina in overcoming challenges. Most importantly, good time management is essential to achieving work-life balance.

4. How would you describe your relationship with other team/group members?

My relationship with my team members has always been great. We cherish our friendships and enjoy sharing our passion in sports and work/life experience.

5. How do you see the role of the coach in a sports team/recreational group?

It is important that we have a coach to correct our mistakes and give us advice and guidance to perfect our skills.

6. Can you share your feelings towards being awarded?

I feel most honoured to be awarded. I hope that I can inspire others to enjoy playing sports and show them no matter how busy you are, you can always find time for sports and recreation.

7. How would you define sportsmanship?

Sportsmanship embodies a lot of elements, including working hard to equip ourselves, trying and giving our very best, respecting the games and our opponents, appreciating and learning from other players, accepting results with grace, and endeavouring to improve on our shortcomings.

Vivian led the Hong Kong team to win in a regional inter-school volleyball tournament which attracted media coverage. 

Vivian’s (second from left) enthusiasm in sports since her time at secondary school earned her the title “Sportsgirl of the Year”. 

As she suggested in her calligraphy art piece, Vivian believed the formula for success in life is hard work plus determination plus positive attitude which are also the elements a sportsman should possess. 


Mr. Bruce Fu, Awardee of the Outstanding Performance Award

1. When and why did you start playing sports/engaging in recreational activities?

I work very long hours. In 2003, I bumped into the Managing Partner one evening who was about to leave the office while I was still struggling at work. She said, “Bruce, you must have life after work!” Her words rang in my head for days, and I thought it was time to make a change.

2. What made you join the Programme?

During that time, I came to know about the Programme and found a number of activities that I was interested in since childhood. I joined various activities and narrowed down my participation to Chinese calligraphy, distance running, swimming and table tennis. I would have at least one recreational and one sporting activity every week.

3. Do you think sports and recreation help you at work?

The legal sector is full of competition, stress and anxiety. We can see members falling into the deep valley of depression or failing to control their temper. Participation in sports and recreation can help to refresh one’s life and help one regain the energy to lift one’s head towards another day.

4. How would you describe your relationship with other team/group members?

We share our knowledge in law and views on topics of public interest. We even help and encourage one another when we are encountering hard times.

5. How do you see the role of the coach in a sports team/recreational group?

Tutors and coaches are invaluable. Without them, we may go nowhere despite continual practice. I am so thankful that our tutors and coaches are all so nice and helpful. They not only help us improve our skills, but also teach us how to enjoy the activity.

6. Can you share your feelings towards being awarded?

My Managing Partner asked me why I was awarded. I really don’t know! Perhaps it is because of my enthusiastic participation in the Programme.

7. How would you define sportsmanship?

The following quotes summarise my interpretation of sportsmanship:

  • “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (an African proverb)
  • “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” (Michael Jordan)
  • “The enjoyment of music with all people is fabulous” (Mencius)

8. Is there any memorable sporting moment of yourself?

For many years, I mistakenly believed I could not run anymore due to my weight and the pain on my back and knees. I cannot tell you the satisfaction and joy I had when I finished my very first 10km marathon.

Sportsmanship is less an individualistic concept to Bruce who treasures sharing joy in a team. 

Among all his different interests, Bruce (left) spent the longest time in pursuing Chinese calligraphy. He attended Law Society classes coached by Mr. Liu Cai Chang almost every week. 

Bruce (middle in white top) overcame his psychological barriers about his body pain and has now made distance running one of his habits. (Image source: The Law Society of Hong Kong


* All photos are provided by the aurthors unless otherwise specified.

Jurisdictions: