Sport and Disability in the Hong Kong Chinese Media

This is a service leadership education course.


In Hong Kong, people with disabilities make up about 7.4 per cent (499,400) of the overall population. ‘Sports for All’ is one of the key sports policies in Hong Kong to enhance and promote a physically active lifestyle in order to maintain good health. Sport can bring positivity to people and help reduce discrimination associated with disability(s) because it highlights the skills and the potential of the disabled and people from different age groups.


This course is interdisciplinary by nature focusing on sports and health care, journalism, disabilities studies, management and serving learning. It will help develop graduates from different disciplines who can decipher the importance of leadership practised by sustainable leadership and situational leadership. The course will begin with introducing the definition of “Service Leadership”, the changing concepts of leadership regarding diversity, respect, discrimination and inclusivity. ‘Disability’ in historical and cultural context, sustainable leadership and situational leadership will be highlighted. Sports science will also be introduced. It continues with professional training of journalism, major reporting and filming skills and the analysis of the ecology of the social media. The distinct lack of “para-athletes”, namely, a sportsperson with a disability, in the mainstream media regarding both domestic and international participation at major sports events for para-athletes will also be explored and ethical issues considered by media executives, sports coaches, athletes and in disability sports reporting will be examined.


The course will cover discourse (discursive analysis) in Chinese journalism because the social project is targeted at the Hong Kong public at large to address discrimination and raise awareness about the disabled and sports. As it aims at critically assessing the under-representation of para-sports and para-athletes in the mainstream local media, local news reports will be the major teaching resources used in lectures and most reports are in Chinese. The service project to be completed by students will include a series of qualitative in-depth interviews/conversations with local para-athletes from different sports such as archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, swimming, table tennis and tenpin bowling. The majority of the local para-athletes and their family members will communicate with students in Cantonese.


It will lead students to dissect the social and cultural dimensions of the challenges that para-athletes are facing, and reflect on what role sports reporting can play in addressing the aforesaid issues and bringing potential changes. The in-depth communication with para-athletes will prepare students to be ready in embracing diversity, demonstrating respect and making changes to the working environment for employees or the service for those subjects who have disabilities.


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