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Speech by CS at opening ceremony of Central Rat Race 2015 (English only) (with photo/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the opening ceremony of Central Rat Race 2015 this morning (October 25):

     Y K (Chief Executive of Hongkong Land, Mr Y K Pang), distinguished guests, participants, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. I am delighted to join you all here this morning on the very special occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Central Rat Race. Indeed, this is the fourth time I have officiated at this annual charity event.

     Once a year in Central, our core business district, since 2006, there is one extraordinary morning as such, when people dress in special and creative team costumes instead of business suits, in sneakers instead of high heels and leather shoes, and when the roads are free of traffic and turned into a fun race field.

     Let me take this opportunity to thank the organiser, the supporting organisations and a highly enthusiastic group of volunteers who have made this signature event possible. My particular gratitude goes to Hongkong Land for combining this fun-filled race with a very meaningful cause - the promotion of awareness of mental wellness, as well as work-life balance and the spirit of teamwork. For the ten consecutive years, the event has raised funds and awareness for Mindset, a registered charity that supports mental health causes in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. Since its inaugural event in 2006, some 4 000 business executives and families have participated in the Central Rat Race and helped raise over $21 million for Mindset. My gratitude also goes to Mindset for its sterling contribution in arousing public awareness on the importance of mental health.

     The Government attaches great importance to the promotion of mental well-being of our citizens. We will soon launch a three-year territory-wide public education and publicity campaign on mental health well-being. The objectives of the campaign include increasing public knowledge and understanding on the importance of mental health. We will also roll out a pilot project under the Lotteries Fund to engage trained ex-mentally ill persons to serve as peer supporters to provide support and encouragement for others in rehabilitation. Peer supporters will also assist in the implementation of public education programmes on mental health in order to enhance public understanding of ex-mentally ill persons.

     We are pleased to have long-established partners in the promotion of mental wellness, including Mindset and this race today. I am sure that with the concerted efforts of the community, we can make Hong Kong a more compassionate and healthy city.

     I wish the Central Rat Race 2015 every success and everyone here a most enjoyable and fun day. Thank you.

Ends/Sunday, October 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:03


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