Hang Seng Bank and HKSDB Reward Athletes for Outstanding Performance in Athens
A total of HK$1.56 million was awarded to eight Hong Kong's Olympic athletes today (10 September), in recognition of their remarkable performance at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
At the Hang Seng Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme presentation, the table tennis duo of Ko Lai-chak and Li Ching received HK$1.2 million for the silver medal they won in the men's doubles at the Athens Games — Hong Kong's first table tennis Olympic medal.
The Scheme has been offering cash incentives to Hong Kong's athletes since 1996 to show appreciation of their performance at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is organised by the Hong Kong Sports Development Board (HKSDB), sponsored by Hang Seng Bank, and fully supported by the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) and the Hong Kong Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (HKSAP).
On top of this Scheme, Hang Seng Bank provided additional cash awards of HK$360,000 to seven athletes who achieved outstanding performance in the Athens Olympics. The cash awards included HK$50,000 for individuals and HK$100,000 for teams who reached the quarter-finals or the 4th to 8th positions. The recipients were Wang Chen of badminton; Ko Lai-chak, Leung Chu-yan, Song Ah-sim, and Tie Ya-na (all from table tennis); and Lee Lai-shan of windsurfing. Hannah Wilson who broke the Hong Kong record in the women's 100 metre freestyle was also given a special award HK$10,000.
At the awards presentation held at the Penthouse of Hang Seng Bank, HKSDB Chairman Victor Hui, who was also Chef de Mission of the Hong Kong delegation for the Athens Olympics, paid tribute to Hang Seng for its long-term support of sport in Hong Kong.
"Hang Seng Bank has set a good example for the business sector to work with the sports community and recognise Hong Kong's top athletes," Mr Hui said. "On behalf of the sports community and our Olympic athletes, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Hang Seng for its strong support of the Scheme and athletes who are determined to bring pride and honour for Hong Kong."
Mr Vincent Cheng, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of Hang Seng Bank, said: "As a keen supporter of local sports development, Hang Seng is pleased to show its support and encouragement of Hong Kong athletes through this Awards Scheme. The perseverance and unfailing spirit of the Hong Kong athletes have enhanced the progressive image of Hong Kong on the world stage. We are proud to have such outstanding athletes."
Ko Lai-chak said: "I am delighted for the support and recognition given by the HKSDB, Hang Seng Bank and the sports community. Winning an Olympic medal is simply a dream come true. The entire table tennis squad has trained hard over the last few years for the Athens Games, and I would say we are proud of what we have done for the people of Hong Kong. This is just the beginning and I hope we will achieve more for Hong Kong in the years to come."
Li Ching shared the joy of his partner, saying: "It is a big honour to receive such a distinguished award. The table tennis team has won at the Asian Games and World Championships; an Olympic medal in Athens is a complement to the success of the sport over these years."
Over HK$3.2 million has been disbursed to 25 Hong Kong athletes for their achievements since the inception of the Hang Seng Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme.
Also present at the awards presentation ceremony were The Hon Timothy Fok, President of the SF&OC, Yue Yun-hing, President of the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association, government officials who are responsible for sports development in Hong Kong, and representatives from national sports associations.
Olympics and Paralympics 2004
Incentive Awards Scheme (equally shared by the HKSDB and Hang Seng Bank)
Special incentives contributed by Hang Seng Bank
Olympics and Paralympics 2004
Cash awards for Olympic Games athletes