Thai boxing has become a trendy sport in recent years as many people take it up to keep fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In the process of learning Thai boxing, Anne Chen thought of using it to help the underprivileged youngsters and youth-at-risk integrate into society.
As the mother of two sons, Anne always concerns about youth problems. While serving as the president of HK Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), she has got in touch with social enterprises focusing on youth services. In 2013, as her health deteriorated because of heavy workload, she was urged by her sons to learn Thai boxing as a cure. She was amazed that Thai boxing did more than just keeping one’s body fit but also enhanced one’s psychological quality. She thus decided to set up Elite Thai Boxing and Fitness (Elite) in 2015 to provide training in Thai boxing for underprivileged youngsters and youth-at-risk, aiming to nurture their virtues and values, unleash their talent, and assist them to return to society.
"The project is named 'Elite' which bears the meaning of 'raising at-risk youths to be elites'. I believe that given the appropriate training, youngsters who have once gone astray will surely lead a new life." Elite has so far offered training to more than 80 youth-at-risk. A new programme titled “Box off Depression” has taught around 90 ex-patients of mental illness Thai boxing since 2016 to help them improve mental health through the sport. With three generations of her family practising Thai boxing, Anne proactively promotes intergenerational harmony and collaborates with social enterprises that serve elderly to organise adult children-elderly parent activities. "I hope, in future, Elite can help more people from a larger range of disadvantaged groups and offer effective solutions to more social problems."
Scope of Services
- Former Hong Kong lawyer sets up social enterprise gym to help troubled youths (SCMP, 1/5/2017)
- Former lawyer dons boxing gloves to start a social enterprise (SCMP Facebook, 6/5/2017)
- 20 years, 20 people: social entrepreneur Anne Chen Wai-yui (SCMP, 30/6/2017)