Hong Kong Medallists Awarded at Incentive Awards Presentation for 2018 Asian Para Games
At the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games, the Hong Kong team won a record-breaking 48 medals, comprising 11 gold, 16 silver and 21 bronze medals. During the “Incentive Awards Presentation for 2018 Asian Para Games” ceremony held today, the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and Henderson Land Group jointly presented cash incentive awards totalling HK$3.429 million to these medallists. The cash awards were presented to 46 medal winners from 8 different sports, under the Jockey Club Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the Henderson Land Commendation Scheme for Elite Athletes.
Officiating guests at the ceremony included The Honourable Lau Kong-wah JP, Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Jenny Fung Ma Kit-han BBS JP, President of the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled; The Honourable C K Chow GBS JP, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Suen Kwok-lam BBS JP MH; Executive Director of Henderson Land and Dr Lam Tai-fai SBS JP, Chairman of the HKSI.
Dr Lam Tai-fai was extremely proud of the performance of Hong Kong athletes at the Asian Para Games. Dr Lam said, “The record-breaking achievement of the Hong Kong athletes is really encouraging and demonstrates the effectiveness of the ‘Pilot Scheme for Elite Vote Support System (EVSS) for Disability Sports’ launched by the Home Affairs Bureau in late 2017.” He continued, “I sincerely thank The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and Henderson Land Group for presenting cash incentives to medallists in recognition of their efforts. I would also like to thank the HKSAR Government, Home Affairs Bureau, the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and the Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability for their long-term support and coordination in nurturing athletes.”
The Honourable C K Chow said that through supporting the Jockey Club Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme, the Club aimed at commending local athletes and enabling the community to take pride in and be inspired by their tremendous efforts, which would in turn encourage the public to exercise more. Some 200 athletes had been rewarded under the scheme so far. “The Club has been supporting athletes with disabilities’ participation in international games as they serve as role models for the public,” he explained. “In addition, we have been promoting social inclusion across different segments of society through supporting various sporting initiatives. The Club believes that despite any mental or physical disabilities that people may have, sports are beneficial to health, and help build character, confidence and team spirit.”
Mr Suen Kwok-lam said, “Para-athletes achieved record-breaking results at the Asian Para Games. Henderson Land has been supporting the development of local sports and we hope more talented athletes will continue to reach new heights, and shine on the international sporting arena.”
Swimmer Tang Wai-lok defended his title and broke his own Asian Para Games record in men's 200m freestyle – S14. He also won a silver medal in 200m individual medley – SM14. “I was extremely thrilled when I won the gold medal and broke the Games record. I would like to express my gratitude for the long-term support of the HKSI, the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and the Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability in nurturing athletes and extend a sincere thank you to the two sponsors for presenting cash incentives to medallists, which is truly a recognition and encouragement to local athletes,” said Tang.
Boccia athlete Ho Yuen-kei won a gold and bronze medal in mixed pairs and mixed individual – BC3 events respectively, a first time gold medal win in that category for Hong Kong. “Being a full-time athlete enabled me to increase my training hours and have more systematic training, which significantly help enhance my skills, and contribute to my preparation and success at the Games,” said Ho.
Lawn Bowls athlete Kwok Wing won a gold and silver medal in mixed pairs and mixed singles – B4 events respectively. He shared his memorable moments at the Games. “I aimed for a gold but settled for a silver medal in mixed singles, my confidence was slightly shaken. But thanks to the support of head coach and fine form of my teammate Tang Shun-yee, I was able to refocus and we eventually won the gold medal in mixed pairs.”
Badminton athlete Chan Ho-yuen won his first silver medal in men’s singles – WH2 in his third Asian Para Games. “In December last year I became a full-time athlete through the ‘Pilot Scheme for EVSS for Disability Sports’. Since then I put more time and effort in training to enhance my competitiveness. Together with my experience gained from previous Games and my stable mental strength, I eventually made a breakthrough this year.”
Established by the HKSI in 1994, the Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme (AIAS) provides cash incentives to local medal winners at various Major Games. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has been the title sponsor of the AIAS from 2016 to 2018, providing cash awards to outstanding Hong Kong athletes at six Major Games.
The Henderson Land Commendation Scheme for Elite Athletes offers additional cash incentives on top of the AIAS to local medallists at the 2018 Asian Games and Asian Para Games.