HK’s ‘Walk Up Jardine House’ event logs 50 million steps to raise HK$2.7 million for mental health charity

23-Oct-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Nearly 2,000 people have walked more than 50 million steps combined equivalent to scaling the 49-storey Jardine House building in Hong Kong 5,000 times and amassed over HK$2.7 million (US$347,200) in support of a mental health charity.

The annual Jardine Matheson charity event returned for 2021 after a one-year coronavirus hiatus, but the usual skyscraper hike was dropped in favour of a more socially distanced format.

Instead of climbing the 947 steps up 49 levels for the “Walk Up Jardine House” event, as performed annually since 1985, participants recorded their steps over a two-week period on walking machines.

The funds raised will be donated to MINDSET, a charity founded by the Jardine Matheson Group in 2002 which runs a series of programmes aimed at making positive changes to the mental health of Hongkongers. The Post is the media partner of this year’s event.

Andrew Wong Hei-lam, the group’s senior representative and MINDSET board member, said he was thrilled to see the event making its comeback.

“The success of this year’s event gave our colleagues the confidence that we can face the future changes in the world with different new solutions and organise MINDSET’s events in different formats,” he said.

“This year’s event is especially meaningful because most of us had gone through a long period of emotional distress, which may be caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Participants were divided into four categories individuals, companies, NGOs and youth. Walking booths were set up at each organisation and equipped with a step machine and an electronic tablet providing useful information about mental health.

The winner of the individual award was 57-year-old Cheng Tat-chung, an employee of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd He walked 472,268 steps, the same number it takes to walk up Central’s Jardine House 498 times.

As a past winner of two of the individual contests and a team challenge, Cheng said he had become “addicted” to the exciting atmosphere that came with the race.

He said his passion was undimmed despite the event differing from previous ones, adding he had created a group chat on social media with colleagues to support each other through the competition.

“It gives me a goal to reach each day. When I see another participant surpassing my steps, I have a new goal to walk even more steps. I have become a lot more active,” he said.

“I’m very happy to win the challenge. I hope the event can continue in the future to help more people in society.”

The event was sponsored by over 50 corporations, including DBS Bank (Hong Kong), a supporter since 2014. Wallace Ted Lam, its managing director, said the event aligned with the bank’s initiatives to promote mental health and encourage people to seek help. “Jardines has been a valued long-term partner of DBS. This event is very meaningful since the funding will help those who suffer from mental health issues,” he said.

“One in seven Hong Kong people have mental health problems of one form or another. Our colleagues may be some of those people. Other than helping our colleagues, it can also create positive impacts in the business community and ecosystem.”

Completed in 1972, Jardine House was the tallest building in Hong Kong at the time, and was originally called Connaught Centre. It remains one of the city’s most recognisable skyscrapers. million-steps


Category: Hong Kong

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