HONG KONG: Each Sunday for the previous six months Wedy Yueng has opened up his gymnasium to Hong Kong’s home helpers, giving them an opportunity to coach, socialise and shrug off the stresses which have stored many away from their households for greater than two years.
Come Boxing Day, his new pupils could have the chance to check their expertise in a one-day beginner match that’s half festive, half health, however principally about enjoyable and providing much-needed group help to Filipino, Indonesian and Nepalese staff.
Sunday’s occasion will characteristic round 20 fights, starting from boxing to Muay Thai to kick-boxing. Beginner guidelines will apply, that means many of the fights will likely be freed from knee and elbow strikes. There is not any strict weight lessons and members will likely be matched up based mostly on expertise and expertise.
“It is principally about having enjoyable,” Yeung, director of Muay Thai Station in Wan Chai, stated. “We used to shut the gymnasium on Sundays and it was a little bit of a waste. Since we opened up it is actually taken off, folks come within the morning to coach after which spend the day right here cooking and hanging out. It has been fairly wonderful.”
The person behind the initiative is beloved coach Sutaep Sathong, affectionately recognized across the gymnasium as Thep.
Like lots of the home staff he now teaches, Thep has been unable to return to his residence in Surin for nearly three years.
The cash Thep makes from instructing and private coaching goes again to his household, and the maintenance of a rooster farm he began whereas locked down in Hong Kong.
“After we first began doing this we had solely about two or three Filipino college students, that they had sooner or later off and the gymnasium was closed on Sunday so it was actually tough for them to coach,” he stated.
“The primary time we opened on Sunday we had three college students, proper now we’ve greater than 200. Typically we do not have sufficient coaching pads for folks to make use of.”
Sunday’s have even obtained so standard, that Thep now employs a few of his extra skilled college students to assist out across the gymnasium, holding pads and getting concerned in lessons.
“I now have 5 folks serving to me out,” Thep stated. “Earlier than they paid me to coach, now I pay them to assist me.”
Each Thep and Yeung stated having an area to coach and socialise on Sundays has impressed home helpers to embrace health and promote a extra constructive and lively way of life.
“If the gymnasium wasn’t open they might be simply on the street ingesting and hanging round, which isn’t too good,” Thep stated. “It is simple to get into hassle, particularly round Wan Chai. That is one thing rather more wholesome.
They’ll are available in and practice and prepare dinner and keep out of hassle”
Yeung admits that selling a wholesome way of life was not what initially spurred the initiative.
“For us, we did not suppose an excessive amount of about that, initially it was principally about serving to Thep elevate some cash for his rooster farm and his household again in Thailand,” Yeung stated. “However the initiative has actually taken off and it is very thrilling to see.”
For Thep, who has competed in additional than 180 skilled fights in Thailand, together with some 50 fights on the famed Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok, Sunday’s have grow to be one thing particular, each personally and professionally.
“Earlier than I did not suppose my college students might grow to be fighters, in my thoughts I believed it will simply be good to assist them train each Sunday and it was one thing to take pleasure in collectively,” he stated. “I had one scholar who couldn’t even do a sit up when she first got here right here, however now she is becoming a member of the match on Sunday. She’s actually match and robust.”
Thep additionally hopes a profitable occasion will open up alternatives for normal tournaments and assist him broaden his farm and create alternatives for his household to proceed working.
“It was robust,” he stated. “My brother’s work in Thailand closed due to the virus, and he had nothing to do in addition to simply smoking and ingesting, possibly entering into some hassle. So he takes care of the farm now. I by no means thought I might have a farm.
“I am fortunate that my boss Wedy is aware of I really like rooster, he helped me to begin the farm and acquired me my first feminine rooster.”
Thep stated one of many extra constructive outcomes from the previous six months have been the friendships he has made.
“My college students convey a lot meals to the gymnasium for after coaching, all of us sit right here and eat collectively. Earlier than they had been my college students, now they’re my associates.”
Sunday’s occasion will run from 2-6pnm on this Sunday, a small door payment of HK$50 (215 baht) will go in the direction of elevating cash to maintain the gymnasium open on Sundays and Thep’s rooster farm again in Thailand.