Celebrating Women (3/3) : Sherrie Kong, Hong Kong's first female jockey
It was International Women's day 😀👭🏽💪🏼 on the 8th of March.
We are doing a series of stories of 3 women who have made a difference in their particular field in HK and beyond😊!!
The 1st was on Jill Robinson which you can read here: https://www.localhood.org/single-post/2020/02/26/Celebrating-women-Jill-the-Bear-Queen-Animals-Asia: https://www.localhood.org/single-post/2020/03/17/Celebrating-Women-23-Alice-Mong-CEO-of-Asia-Society
The 2nd lady we introduce to you below is Alice Mong, Executive Director of the Asia Society Hong Kong (ASHK): https://www.localhood.org/single-post/2020/03/17/Celebrating-Women-23-Alice-Mong-CEO-of-Asia-Society
The 3rd lady we are proud to present to you below is Sherrie Kong, Hong Kong's first ever female jockey.
Horse…the 1st real love Sherie Kong who is Hong Kong's first female jockey. Sherie’s affair with the horse started at the age of 13, when she first went up a real horse and from them on she went riding.
As fate would have it, at 16 she got into to the Jockey Club’s 1st female jockey apprenticeship program. Sherie confesses that she applied against her mother’s wishes not only because she loved the sport but also as she wanted freedom from her family like any 13-year-old and not go to school.
So, Sherie dropped out of school at 16 years to fulfill her dream of become a Jockey. She went on to take 11 wins until her forced retirement in 1998.
At that age, did she realize what being the first HK woman jockey meant? Did she comprehend that she was leaving her trace in the HK sports history book? I asked.
“I am very lucky that I had the opportunity to ride. I am successful because of the training jockey club gave me…thanks to them I made history. I never realized it then. But I do realize my blessing.”
In 1998, her life was about to change again.
She fell from her horse. She got out alive from the accident but was diagnosed shortly after with Nephrotic syndrome, a kidney illness and was put on steroids. Steroids are a no-go in sports so Sherie had to retire. Retire, from the highest point in her racing career.
She recalls, “I lost job, lost health. I was completely down. I was worried about my marriage also and wanted` to have babies. I tried to get pregnant… underwent IVF but were not successful. That’s a lot of things to tackle at the same time yes…I went into depression.”
My appearance had always been important for me. “Even when I die, I want to die beautiful", Sherie remembers telling her husband. During depression I was losing weight steadily.
She continues, “One day, I saw myself in the mirror in my thin frame all of 80 pounds. I was aghast and shameful. At that point, I decided to take control of myself again”, Sherie Kong recalls. “I fell, I got up! For me it is very important to never give up. I told myself I had 2 options- either to commit suicide or to come back. If you don’t fight for your dreams, you will never reach your target or fulfill your dreams because nobody else will”
Sherie did make a comeback. He first plan of action was to get a job. Like normal people. Jockey club was happy to have her back as a horse racing commentator.
From there on, as she focused on her race when on her horse, Sherie was focused on my job. In 2012, when Sherie was 36 years old, she miraculously and completely recovered. She still has no idea why and how she recovered. “I feel it’s god’s way of saying well done for not giving up in the low phase of my life,” She says laughing.