This post was written by guest blogger Barbara Chu, Managing Director of Cisco Hong Kong and Macau
Under the throbbing beat of the drum and supported by lots of cheering supporters, our devoted Cisco Dragon paddlers dashed to the finish line at the Hong Kong Stanley International Dragon Boat Championship, while achieving the goal of raising HK$100,000 (US$12,900) for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.
Life is not just about work, and that is why we initially brought Cisco employees together to form the Cisco Dragon team back in 2007 – not just to enter the championship that takes place every year on the Dragon Boat Festival (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, usually in June) at Stanley Beach in Hong Kong, but also to encourage work-life balance and facilitate the well-being of our employees, and our friends and partners.
In 2009, the Cisco Dragon team decided to turn their sweat into good deeds and started fundraising for charity. Including the achievement this year, Cisco Dragon has raised nearly HK$300,000 (US$39,000) so far for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.
“We will be a much happier and more complete if we support charity and care about the world around us – that gives us meaning in life,” said team member Tony Wong, a manager in workplace resources. “And I am proud to tell people that my company has a heart and cares about the community.”
A Dragon Boat is a human-powered craft that requires the wholehearted effort of each and every paddler working in perfect unison to try to win the race. This year, a team of 29 passionate and dedicated paddlers (Cisco employees and friends) went through 12 weeks of hardcore training sessions on the weekends. Training was not easy, but the shared goal to raise funds for cancer patients made it worth every bit of the sweat and pain.
“We began as a very small team of unprofessional paddlers,” said team member and supply chain program manager Denise Chan. “But with great passion, spirit and hard work, the Cisco Dragon has become one of the top teams in the competition and has entered each Cup final since 2009. We’re all very pleased to see our efforts pay off, and to be able to give back to the community.”
I was really touched by the team’s spirit of “never give up, compete to win,” which also reminds us all of the strength of will of the cancer fighters around us. Interestingly, the event date was actually my birthday this year, and I can say there’s no better gift than to witness the Cisco Dragon delivering 120% with remarkable teamwork and coming in 41st out of 192 – they do us proud!