HKSI and HKBU Join Hands to Shape the Future of Elite Athletes
The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) and the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the university-wide study support for HKSI elite athletes to recognise the importance of elite athletes’ dual career pathway.
The MOU was signed by Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI, and Professor Roland Chin Tai-hong BBS JP, President and Vice-Chancellor of the HKBU, witnessed by The Hon Lau Kong-wah JP, Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Yeung Tak-keung JP, Commissioner for Sports, Dr Lam Tai-fai SBS JP, Chairman of the HKSI, and Professor Chung Pak-kwong, Head of Department of Physical Education of the HKBU.
At the ceremony, Dr Leahy stressed that the HKSI attaches great importance to the provision of comprehensive support in promoting the holistic development and sustainable growth of young athletes, saying “The MOU provides athletes with flexible access to tertiary education. It solidifies the concept of dual career pathway and empowers elite athletes pursuing their sporting dream while continuing university study.” She also expressed her gratitude to the HKBU for sharing the same vision on whole-person development with the HKSI and looked forward to an even more integrated collaboration with HKBU in the future.
Professor Roland Chin said that sports and recreation studies are a crucial element in HKBU’s focus research area of “health and drug discovery”. HKBU is committed to supporting the development of sports in Hong Kong. Examples of this commitment include the provision of professional medical services to outstanding athletes by the School of Chinese Medicine. In addition, last year HKBU launched the Elite Athletes Admission Scheme to encourage elite athletes to pursue degree programmes.
He added that signing the MOU can pave the way for strengthening collaboration between HKBU and HKSI in various areas, such as by providing flexible study arrangements that accommodate students’ training and study schedules, and by conducting applied research designed to enhance athletic performances, as well as to advance Hong Kong sports development.
The MOU marks a list of special arrangements in admission and learning, giving full time elite athletes greater flexibility in carrying on their university study. Athletes will be granted an extension of graduation time line to accommodate their trainings and competitions, as well as individualised mentoring support, academic advice and career planning. Both institutes will also enhance their collaboration in applied research designed to contribute to improvement in athletes’ results.
The Ceremony was followed by a sharing session during which HKBU graduate and HKSI Acting Head Windsurfing Coach Chan King-yin, and HKBU students windsurfer Ma Kwan-ching and squash athlete Chan Ho-ling revealed how they struck a balance between studying and elite training.
Speaking from a coach perspective, Acting Head Coach Chan King-yin, who secured a 6th place in the RS:X event of Windsurfing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and graduated from bachelor degree in Physical Education and Recreation Management of the HKBU, expressed his unreserved support on the dual career pathway for elite athletes. He said, “It helps broaden the horizon of young athletes and gives them extra impetus in the pursuit of sporting excellence.”
In the review of education at the HKBU, Ma Kwan-ching who decided to defer her study in order to concentrate on sports training expressed, “It was really a great challenge for me to manage study and training simultaneously. The collaboration gives athletes extra flexibility in continuing the study according to their training and competition schedule. That is a good news to us!” She anticipates that the arrangement can inspire other young athletes to take up sports as a long term career.
Chan Ho-ling, who is currently studying Physical Education and Recreation Management at the HKBU, pointed out that university study provides her invaluable opportunity to build her network and pave the way for a promising future. She encouraged athletes to follow their dreams in sports while maintaining studies for whole-person development.
Aiming to attract more sporting talents to train full time for winning medals for Hong Kong, the HKSI has established Elite Athlete-friendly School Network in 2014 and Partnership School Programme in 2015. HKBU is the third university engaged in MOU with the HKSI for assisting athletes on their dual career pathway in their sporting life.