Athletics is What Completes Me — Luo Tsz Yuen

Student Translator: Ms Lee Pui Yee Ruby (ENGE/3)

Since a young age, Tsz Yuen’s family has always been encouraging her to participate in sports. By joining a track and field tryout in Primary 4, she discovered her talents in running and long jump. On the recommendation of her school teacher, Tsz Yuen officially embarked on her journey as an athlete. From winning prizes in territory-wide competitions, joining the Student-Athlete Learning Support and Admission Scheme, to becoming members of the Hong Kong team, Tsz Yuen’s life has long been linked to sports.

Tsz Yuen giggled that she is a lazy student, or more precisely, a typical “deadline fighter”. Even when it was DSE, she just made hasty efforts at the very last minute. Yet, she does not see sports as her biggest academic hurdle. Instead, sports is exactly what pushed her to study. Aiming to reconcile trainings and academic work, Tsz Yuen spent more time on her studies. Her learning efficiency has therefore greatly improved. Moreover, she has many friends on her way. During mid-term exam period, she would not have been able to catch up without their help. They were also considerate when the deadline for group project coincided with her competition. Tsz Yuen was grateful for having such wonderful classmates who contributed to her blissful practice time. As a member of UC Sports Association, she made lots of memories organising the Athletic Meet and Swimming Gala. She also expressed her gratitude to Ms Crystal K Y Cheung of the Physical Education Unit (Associate Dean of Students, UC), for her warm caring words about her studies.

“Why not when I am gifted? Just see how far I can reach!”

Every athlete has experienced sports injury, so has Tsz Yuen. During a practice in mid-2022, Tsz Yuen hurt herself so badly that she could not even walk. “My condition was originally great then. If I had been able to attend a competition, I am sure I would have done well!” As the sports competition results were released, she realised how everyone were making progress while she herself was still in the same place. “Why can’t I even handle a single practice?”, “Does this sports really fit me?”, she couldn’t help but blame herself. Luckily, Tsz Yuen grows wise in time. Now, for her, the value of running is no longer about winning races, but witnessing her own growth and breakthroughs. Satisfaction is far more important than the sense of success.

In the previous Hangzhou Asian Games, Tsz Yuen is the reserve of the Hong Kong women’s 4x100m relay team. She admitted how unreal it was to witness her idols compete and become one of their teammates. When asked if she felt upset about being a reserve, Tsz Yuen consisted that “A reserve also plays a role!” She recalled her memory during the Asian Championship, when she had to sub her injured teammate. Every athlete who takes the field should be in position, ready to go, and give their best during the competition. It’s not only about respecting your teammates, but also about respecting yourself. Moreover, Tsz Yuen believes that being a reserve doesn’t mean being far weaker than the regular player.

Being an athletics runner is a time-bound career.”

With many major competitions coming up in 2025-2026, Tsz Yuen is considering turning into a full-time athlete to focus on her preparation. Yet, before making her final decision, there are still a lot of uncertainties, including academics and family factors. As for short-term goal, she wishes to be a regular member in the next Asian Games. Breaking the Hong Kong record would be what she is looking for in the long run. She admitted, “Once over 30, decrease in physical fitness will hinder you from catching up.” Therefore, she hopes to take advantage of her golden years and shine on the sports field.

When asked about athlete support and development, she doesn’t think the outlook for athletes is as bad as what people might imagine. Among her 25 classmates, five of them are full-time athlete. The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) will not only award scholarships to athletes based on their competition results, but also offer free meals and hostel places for full-time athletes so as to provide adequate support to athletes. Furthermore, as teaching and coaching are the two main career paths for an athlete, they can also earn extra money by teaching extracurricular classes. Tss Yuen believes that, if you are not a breadwinner, it is not a problem to support yourself as an athlete.