Attending a Lunar New Year reception at 10 Downing street on Thursday 8 February, Stephen Ornellas received the PMs Points of Light Award in recognition of all his work with the Kung Fu school.
Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community. Every week the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the daily Points of Light award.
Stephen Ornellas, from Liverpool, has taught martial arts and the traditional lion dance as part of Liverpool’s Chinese New Year Celebrations for over 40 years.
Introduced to Kung Fu at the age of 16, Stephen was asked by the Chinese community to lead the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School after their Master died in 1989. Liverpool is home to the oldest Chinatown in Europe and through the club Stephen teaches both children and adults martial arts every weekday.
The club works closely with local Chinese community groups and has grown since forming in 1975, with a membership of over 100 students. The Chinese Lion Dance is a large part of the club’s activities, and they welcome anyone who would like to volunteer as part of the dance. In addition to the annual Chinese New Year Performance, associated ceremonies and martial arts displays, the self-funded club has also performed at many charity shows at local schools and venues throughout Europe.
The award for Stephen comes ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Stephen Ornellas said:
“I am very honoured and surprised to receive this award in recognition of dedicating 45 years to the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School. It has been important to me after the passing of my Sifu in 1989 to continue to develop close ties with the Chinese Community and keep their traditions alive, whilst at the same time, promoting health and well being and encouraging young people to stay off the streets and pursue something worthwhile. Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School is one big family. We all work together as a team and I am proud to have kept the school running for so long. So, thank you so much for this recognition award, on behalf of myself, but also the whole school.”