Operation Breakthrough uses sport as a means to help, rehabilitate and positively reinforce young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or families. Helping to fight crime and juvenile delinquency amongst low income and immigrant communities in Hong Kong, these programmes are voluntarily run by serving and retired police officers and assisted by social workers.
Operation Breakthrough recognises and values young people and the problems they face. Persistent offending by young people is damaging to the local community. Anti-social behaviour heavily impacts its victims, destroys property, divides communities and costs money - resources that could be better spent elsewhere. One of the most important outcomes of the charity’s work to date has been the acknowledgement and recognition the Foundation has received following the donation from ICAP Hong Kong. The below Success Stories were made possible through funds raised at ICAP Charity Day 2014.
Football - The football programme had ceased due to the lack of suitable grounds. Funding from ICAP Charity Day went towards renovating grounds at KGV School in Ho Man Tin and the programme was restarted. Now more than 80 young children aged 11-18 years old now participate in organised coaching and training, from professional coaches and mentors. In 2016 teams will be entered into the HKFA Junior leagues encouraging a sense of competition for the young participants.
Without the support and funding from ICAP Charity Day our programme development would not have been able to achieve the growth and sustainability we have seen in the past year. It has given a massive boost to our activities and has enabled us to share and extend our apprenticeship programme whereby we give young kids 12 months full time vocational training and experience. The impact that was made and we still receive from the “Sports Can Change Lives” forum from top government officials, senior police management and police officers and the sporting community as a whole, has allowed us to share and address the importance of sport in making a differenceMatt Lindsay, Director and former CEO of Operation Breakthrough
Cricket - The often overlooked non-ethnic Chinese community have been provided with much needed sporting opportunity giving them a chance to increase self-esteem and confidence using sport as a vehicle. Starting in September 2014, Cricket became the latest sporting activity under the Operation Breakthrough programme. There are currently seven teams comprising of a total of approximately 80 participants. The teams are made up of Indian and Pakistani players with a small number of Afghan and Bangladeshis. All participants are under 19 and come from disadvantaged socio-economic groups. ICAP funds have enabled games to take place every Sunday morning at the Police College. The cricket section was also involved in a recent charity initiative which helped raise funds for victims of the Nepal earthquake in April 2015.
It has been the biggest pleasure to see how the ICAP Charity Day funds have assisted and helped our programme grow. We are now close to our initial target of 100 young players every week and the difference in the young players not only in their football skills but their interpersonal approach to each other makes this totally worthwhile. We cannot thank ICAP enough for supporting Operation Breakthrough so generouslyMal Thompson, Director of Football
Dragon Boat - The objective was to offer a diverse but important cultural sporting programme to young dragon boaters to instil a teamwork ethic. The young paddlers have committed time and effort and have competed in three events so far. The donation from ICAP has paid for their own dragon boat, paddles and equipment.
At the start of the year we identified another important group of young people in need and at risk and who deserve as much consideration as the other kids in our programmes. The Non ethnic Chinese have jumped at the chance to regularly play cricket with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan lads almost immediately joining the cricket programme. We literally went from a few kids to almost 90 regular players in a matter of weeks. ICAP Charity Day funding has allowed us to provide equipment and a long term future for communities that would ordinarily not mix together, even in Hong KongGlenn O'Neill, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kowloon West Regional Headquarters
Apprenticeship programme - One of the most important initiatives for the sustainability of the charity in recent years has been to organically develop mentors and provide them with a structured year-long opportunity to prepare them for their future careers. Through a match funding scheme, ICAP has enabled Operation Breakthrough to continue running this initiative. A donation from ICAP has also helped to expand the programme, enabling more young people to gain full time work experience. Most importantly ICAP’s donation has encouraged other corporations to understand the value of this initiative, helping garner further support.
Sports Forum – “Sport Can Change Lives” - This initiative was created to bring together local and international sporting heroes to inspire and share experiences to the sporting community, administrators, individuals and associations which deliver sporting programmes. Supported by the Home Affairs Bureau, senior Hong Kong police management, the Hong Kong Sports Institute and the prestigious Laureus Sport For Good Foundation the Sport Can Change Lives forum was an resounding success. ICAP’s donation went towards funding this hugely successful event, which was well attended and also attracted the media and senior government officials including the secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak Sing. Local and international sporting heroes contributed by sharing and highlighting the importance of sport for the whole community. In addition a workshop highlighting the importance of Child Protection in Sport was included with key note speakers and handouts available to attendees. The response from attendees was to make this an annual event that will allow Hong Kong to showcase the positive impact of sport.