HKSI and HKU Collaborate to Enhance Dual Career Pathways for Elite Athletes
The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalise the cooperation in development of elite athletes’ dual career pathways, encouraging them to strike a balance between study and elite training.
The MOU was signed by Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI, and Professor John Kao, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) of HKU, witnessed by Mr Yeung Tak-keung JP, Commissioner for Sports, Professor Peter Mathieson, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU and Dr Lam Tai-fai SBS JP, Chairman of the HKSI.
Professor Peter Mathieson remarked, “HKU has supported the athletic endeavours of our students for many years and was the first university in Hong Kong to introduce a sports scholarship scheme. And now, this collaboration with HKSI offers our students more options, flexibility and guidance to excel athletically and academically.”
At the ceremony, Dr Leahy said, “The HKSI stresses the importance of providing a holistic support to elite athletes, enabling them to reach their full potential both in sport and academic development. Today’s signing strengthens and enhances the joint efforts of the local sports and education sectors in cultivating new generations of international champions for Hong Kong. Thanks to HKU for the provision of a flexible academic options to elite athletes, which helps them balance both full-time training and academic development.”
The MOU outlines a list of special arrangements in admission and study for HKSI full-time scholarship elite athletes, offering them greater flexibility in tertiary study. Extension of graduation time line is also granted to athletes, which allows them to train full-time under a flexible curriculum. In addition, individualised mentoring support, academic advice and career planning are also offered to athletes. Benefiting from the MOU, HKSI full-time scholarship athletes can continue their academic and personal development while committing to intensive training and competition schedules.
HKU Year-five psychology student and elite fencer Chu Ka-mong, is glad to learn that HKU signed the MOU and expressed the importance of supportive school policy for student athletes. Chu said, “If no allowance was given by the University to make up my mid-term examination, I would be unable to participate in the World Fencing Championships last year which is one of the dream arena for fencers.” With the supportive school policy, Chu has just turned to full-time training and set her target at next year’s Asian Games.
Elite swimmer Rainbow Ip, who is currently studying Business Administration in Accounting and Finance at HKU, highly praised the University’s Sports Scholarship Scheme. “I entered HKU through this Scheme, as an elite athlete, it offered me more interview chances. It also enables me to befriend with a group of sports enthusiasts with similar background, peer support is very important when you have to strike a balance between study and sports and be good at both of them,” said Ip.
Targeting to attract more sporting talents to devote themselves in full-time training, the HKSI has established Elite Athlete-friendly School Network in 2014 and Partnership School Programme in 2015. HKU is the fourth university engaged in MOU with the HKSI for supporting athletes on their dual career pathway in their sporting life.