The Sporting Life at WYK A Basketball Final

This is a true account from the best of my recollection – Tim

     At WYK, basketball was not a widely participated sport.  Nevertheless, there were 2 courts, flanked by the 2 tennis courts further down and a few steps up from the Sandy Football Field.  Students who wished to play could do so during PT Class, Football Class, before or after class, and weekends.  In some years, we had a School Basketball Team.

     It was February, 1969.  I was in Form 7, my final year and the last few months of secondary school.  Prior to that year, there were a lot of changes with school mates and friends.  From F5 to F6, five classes were reduced to three and from F6 to F7, the number of students was further reduced, to about half again.  Some students went to other schools, a few started to work, and many left for universities abroad.  A lot of friends were not around.

     I was accepted by several colleges and universities in the US and Canada, but was also pondering to start a business in Hong Kong.  My father was a good businessman and was supportive.  With the decision looming and the uncertainties of youths about the future, there were considerable anxieties.

Continue reading

Tennis at WYK by Tim Kwan (67)

A Key Match: KGV vs WYK in 68.

Tennis Team, 68-69

In the season 1968-9, I was the captain of WYK tennis for the second year running.  Other than Robert Ko and me, we had all new players in the team – Paul Siu, T. Mok and others.

My partner was Paul Siu.  At 16, he was six feet, one and a half inches tall, with big bones and muscles.  He loved to play tennis, and would go to his club at Kowloon Tong to play evenings and all weekends.  He had a big serve and overhead smash, sometimes erratic, but was improving.  In later years, he became a top club player in Hong Kong.

At that time, the Interschool tennis competition rules required 6 players from each school team.  The players made 3 pairs of doubles partners, and each pair will play 3 sets against each pair of the opposing team – a single round robin.  Thus a match between schools was comprised of a total of 9 sets, and the team with 5 or more sets won the match.  Two substitute players were allowed for each team.

Continue reading

The Sporting Life at WYK IV

Annals of Excellence:  WYK Tennis

Father Finneran

From the 1960s to 1980s, over 2 decades, WYK had achieved long running success in intercollegiate tennis.  From 1971 to 1981 in open play, the tennis championship was won every year.  In the years proceeding and after this unbroken record, there were many Runners-ups and third place finishes.

The architect and coach of this successful program was Reverend Father Patrick J. Finneran.

Father Finnegan loved sports.  While he would contribute to football and track and field, his passion was tennis.  Under him, WYK tennis was developed from 1965.

Patrick Wong and Ken Fletcher

Some of the players before I joined the team were Patrick Wong, Eddie Lo and Joseph Wong, with Patrick Wong as Captain.  He and Eddie Lo anchored the team.  I watched them played exhibition matches with visiting Wimbleton champions such as the Australian Ken Fletcher on our school courts.   It was 1966.

Around June of the same year, Fr Finneran organized a “tournament”.  I entered and was chosen with Thomas Kan for the school team when we came back in September.  It was at least a year later that I realized that it was his method of recruiting. 

He would watch everyone who played, even those just hitting a ball against the backboard.   He would encourage them and then invite them for a tryout: a “tournament”, or play against others and not least, hitting the ball with him.  He would test them and make his decision.

He did this before the end of the school year and the summer vacation.  Almost all the players were from Form 4 to Form 6.  Some of those selected would not return for the new term in September, going to other schools in Hong Kong after Form 5 or abroad.  His work had to include contingency plans.



I joined the team in September, 1966 and played three seasons.  Patrick Wong was captain that year and we were runners-up in the colony.

In the next season, 1967-8, everyone except me had left, mostly for US and Canada.  I was captain with all 6 or 7 new players.  We had all new players again in 1968-9.  Nonetheless, we were runners-up that year again.

You can see Fr Finneran’s difficult task of rebuilding constantly, at the same time fielding a competitive team of six players plus two substitutes year after year.  But that was his strength. 

He spent a lot of time watching and thinking about the team.  He would hit balls with the prospects, some of those might still be in Form 1 or 2.  He assessed their skills and potential, not only physically but mentally: for tennis matches require toughness of mind.  Once he told me, “ … you  can beat better players at matches – just like me when I was young”.

Continue reading

The Sporting Life at WYK IIIA

An Interview with Raymond Chan Kai-man by Tim Kwan

Tim and Raymond

Q.  What years did you attend WYK?

            I graduated in the class of the ’73.

Q.  What sports did you play?

I am too small to play basketball, and not as talented as you are in tennis, so I mainly played soccer…I played a few years for our school soccer team.                           

Q.  Which grades and years?

            During Form 2, 3 & 5; C & B grades.

C Grade

B Grade 73

Q.  What position did you play?

I guess I wasn’t particularly good at any one position, so I kind of played many positions. I played midfield and center forward for the school team.

Q.  Do you remember the Sandy Field?

Oh yes, lots of memories with the Sandy field. Got lots of hard time from my mom for playing in wet muddy conditions and got the white pant so dirty.

Q.  What about the Grass Field?

Loved the grass field… it was a privilege to have such facility in HK and was proud of that. Still have vivid memories about playing/watching friendly inter-school games, our own inter-class games or some fun game between the staff and students. Students watched from the canteen and outside the Chapel. Lots of fun and memories about the Grass Field.

Continue reading

The Sporting Life at WYK III (The Football Fields)

The Small Field

When you enter the school through the main gates at Waterloo Road, you can see a driveway rising directly in front of you.  Immediately to your left, you can go up a few steps and will see a small, rectangular field, about 40 feet wide and running east about 120 feet towards the northeast corner of the WYK campus.

This first and smallest field is obscured by the much larger Grass Field rising about another 8 steps to its south.  It was least used by the students.  Close to the entrance and thus the shortest exit, people from the neighboring community would use it regularly, especially in the mornings and at dusk.  In those hours, you can see football and badminton play, individual and small group exercises – some with Chinese swords and spears, dogs and other pets.

Lined with trees and shrubs, secured by high fences, there is an intimacy with this field.  During the 1960s and to this day, WYK allowed the public to use it – one of the many contributions made to the community.  It can be called The Community Field.

A Grade 66

B Grade 66

The Grass Field

Going up the stairs, or just continuing up the driveway, you will see the Grass Field.  This is a major feature of WYK: what we were known for.  The entire west sideline runs close and parallel to Wyliy Road.  Separated by sloped grades and fence, it was also tree lined.  You can see the traffic on Wylie Road, and people in their vehicles or pedestrians can see the green grass.  Over the years, when I told people I attended WYK, many would say, “yes, you have that football field.”

The Grass Field is actually small in size for regulation play.  But young teenagers growing up in Hong Kong, it was big.  It was also meticulously kept and vigilantly guarded by Father Cryan.  The grass felt like carpet.

Continue reading

The Sporting Life at WYK II

The Sporting Life at WYK II

By Tim Kwan (67)

Norman So

Hop_Step & Jump

Table Tennis



 I attended WYK from 1961 to 1969, P6 to F7.  Compared to the 2 primary schools I was enrolled in, the school work was not too heavy, leaving time for extra curricula activities.  Perhaps WYK administration had that in mind: to provide a balanced program of studies and activities.

For me, and many students, sport was an integral part of life in WYK, whether you played just for fun or in matches between classes, houses or against other schools.

Football (soccer), table tennis, track and field, tennis, swimming meets and basketball were the principal sports in those days, in that general order of popularity.  I played football and tennis, as well as ran the 400m for WYK.  My table tennis was good in primary school but I did not play much in WYK.  Thinking back now, it must be because there were too many good table tennis players.  I wanted to win, and was inevitably drawn to the games that I had a chance to be at the top, at least inside the school.

Competition is a dominant part of sports.  Whenever scores are being kept, winners and losers are identified.

At WYK, the teachers did not overemphasize winning.  Fair play and humility were valued.  The Physical Training (PT) classes, Football classes and games before and after school exemplified this.  A game was going to start, and you wanted to join and just play.  Enjoy.

Competition became intense as you got to the more organized after-school games, then to interclass, onto inter-house and finally at the inter-school level.  I won many medals inside the school and just two for WYK at intercollegiate.

The desire to win is natural.  It is similar to the urge for humans to excel in what they do, whether it is the search for food, literature, scientific research, commerce or warfare.

To compete in sports is different in some aspects: it is simpler, with more clarity and arguably purer in nature.  At WYK, I played hundreds of games, ran the tracks a few times, winning more often than losing.

But it was not until I was in Form 5 that I came to realise that while I enjoyed winning, I learned a lot more when I lost.  The winning was great.  But the losing went much deeper: dealing with failure, I learned many things.  Courage and character could be built.

Tim and Raymond

Recently I met up with Raymond Chan (73) for dinner.  He went to WYK after I had left.  He played football in Windsor, Ontario and was a top player amongst all the schools in the city.  There is no question that he is a leader on the field.

During dinner, we inevitably turned to football.  He said,” I have never gone to a match that I didn’t think I could win” in Chinese.

I plan to interview him soon.

The Sporting Life at WYK

The Sporting Life at WYK

by Tim Kwan (67)

A Grade

B Grade

C Grade


Some time ago, I was talking to Mr. Anthony Ho, our past Vice Principal and an advisor of the Alumni Association of Ontario.  He mentioned the WYK Alumni website and blogs.  I told him I had memorable experience with sports at WYK, and was encouraged to write about it.

In many ways, sports mirror life.  The thrill, at times ecstasy, of victory and the pain of defeat amplify what one goes through.  It can teach one to deal with adversity, disappointment and failure.  To some, sports manifest life.

At WYK, we had a balanced view with sports.  Participation was encouraged, gentlemen’s conduct quietly acknowledged.  It was also a place where east meets west, and so the traditional virtue of humility at sports was valued.


I am not a regular writer.  At WYK, we have tremendous talents, not least literary.  While I thought I could write, I had the fortune (misfortune?) of sitting directly behind Sandy Ng for two years.  One glimpse at his Chinese or English composition work would dash anyone’s illusion of becoming a professional writer.

Mr. Ho and I share the goal that if other alumni will put pen on paper, or more correctly fingers on keyboards, to tell their stories in their sporting life at WYK, this project will be a success.

So we begin.
(to be continued)