The CENTRAL Rat Race Kicks Off Another Decade of Charity Excitement
Organiser encourages businesses and people across the city to come out in support of mental health initiatives across Hong Kong and mainland China
HONG KONG, 2nd June 2016 – It’s time once again for one of Hong Kong’s favourite charity events to bring participants and spectators another fast-paced, action-packed extravaganza in the heart of CENTRAL. Hongkong Land today announced the 11th CENTRAL Rat Race will take place on Sunday, 16th October 2016, and it promises the most exciting, fun-filled race yet with new challenges, more runners, bigger crowds, and a host of creative activities for families and the wider community.
Since its inaugural year in 2006, the CENTRAL Rat Race has annually drawn hundreds of participants to compete in a relay-style race where they dash through the streets of the Central Business District, clad in fancy costumes and carrying a briefcase as a baton. The Race parodies the corporate lifestyle while also communicating the importance of work-life balance. By using the highly interconnected streets and Grade A commercial space of CENTRAL, it also showcases the district’s excellence as a world-class business hub. All proceeds go to MINDSET, a charity that supports mental health organisations in Hong Kong and mainland China.
“Over the past 10 years, the CENTRAL Rat Race has become one of Hong Kong’s signature charity events,” said Mr Y K Pang, Chief Executive of Hongkong Land. “It is a valuable team-building exercise for leading multinational and local companies because of the way it emphasises the importance of collaboration and work-life balance. In addition to the team relay race, there is the Junior Rat Race, which many children enjoy participating in each year. This year we are adding an exciting range of family workshops to get even more kids and parents involved. We look forward to seeing everyone come out and support our runners on Race Day.”
Mr Ben Keswick, Chairman of MINDSET, said, “MINDSET has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of the CENTRAL Rat Races since its launch. We are delighted at the prospect of more and more people coming together to support a worthy cause such as mental health, which affects so many people and their families across the community. With their help, I know we can make a big difference to those in need.”
This year’s CENTRAL Rat Race will feature a number of family-friendly activities. These include a series of creative workshops to be held in July, where participants can use cutting-edge 3D technology to colour and style their own Mr Rat. They can also learn traditional Chinese handicrafts by making their own Junior Rat paper lanterns. At the conclusion of these workshops, participants’ works may be put on display at The Rotunda, Exchange Square. A variety of activity and game booths for children and families will also be arranged once again on the Race Day.
In addition, Rat Race fans will have the chance to try out a special photo kiosk where they can take pictures with a virtual Mr Rat using the latest technology in augmented reality (AR). Adjacent to the photo kiosk is a commemorative photo exhibition of colourful highlights from the 10 previous CENTRAL Rat Races. The AR kiosk and the photo exhibition are open from now through 21st June 2016 at The Rotunda, Exchange Square.
For Rat Racers, one of the best parts of the event is the challenge of overcoming its creatively devised obstacles, which are located at each of the Race’s eight legs. This year the Race focuses on a typical day at the office. For example, at Leg 3, “Setting the Agenda”, participants must complete Mr Rat’s daily planner. At Leg 4, “Watch Your Back”, runners have to pick up a bow and arrow and then shoot targets placed on the backs of their teammates.
Registration for the Rat Race requires a minimum contribution of HK$60,000 per team of eight participants. A maximum of 60 teams will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Registration for the Big Rat Race requires a minimum donation of HK$20,000 per senior executive, and entries are also limited. Children between the ages of five and 10 are eligible to compete in the Junior Rat Race for a minimum donation of HK$1,000.
Groups participating in this year’s NGO Rat Race – which requires the collaboration of two NGO representatives on each team – include Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, Caritas Wellness Link (Tsuen Wan), Castle Peak Hospital, Kwai Chung Hospital, Mental Health Association of Hong Kong, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and Richmond Fellowship of Hong Kong.
The CENTRAL Rat Race 2016 is supported by the Central and Western District Council, Central Development Limited, South China Morning Post, TVB Pearl, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, Mayer Brown JSM, Wise Kids, Mannings, Maxim’s Group, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Oliver’s The Delicatessen.
Entry forms can be downloaded from the CENTRAL Rat Race website (http://www.CENTRALratrace.com), which also offers full details about the event. Interested parties may also visit the Race’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CENTRALratrace.