The Hong Kong running club where the deaf lead the blind
South China Morning Post
19th September 2022
The Hong Kong running club where the deaf lead the blind, Fearless Dragon is creating a more inclusive society
By Mark Agnew
Hong Kong’s Fearless Dragon club is pioneering running for the disabled, with deaf guides leading blind runners
‘Now, more disabled people believe. They see that I am the slowest in the team, but I finished, I did not give up,” says co-founder Kim Mok
Kim Mok Kim-wing stood on his own in the crowd at the starting line for the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon 10-kilometre race in 2012. He was not supposed to be alone, but he had lost his guide.
Mok, a blind runner, was taking part in his first race. He planned to complete the distance with a guide next to him, leading the way. But his guide had gone to the toilet, and the pair could not find each other again.
“I didn’t feel annoyed or angry. I just shouted loudly, ‘Where are you? Where are you?’ I forgot he was deaf,” Mok said.
The 55-year-old is one of the founders of the Fearless Dragon Running Club. It started in 2011, and was one of the first clubs for blind runners in Hong Kong, but with a difference – the guides are deaf.
Showing confidence in people with hearing impairments is as much at the core of the club’s mission as training blind runners. In fact, Fearless Dragon is a pun and in Cantonese it sounds like “blind” and “deaf” – “maang” and “lung”.
When the club started, there were just six pairs of runners. Mok’s entry into the 10km was one of the club’s first into any event. For Mok, it was the furthest he’d ever run.