Jockey Club Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme Presentation Awards Hong Kong Paralympians for Great Achievements
A moment of glory was brought to the Hong Kong athletes again at the Jockey Club Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme Presentation Ceremony hosted by the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) today, with a total of HK$1.82 million cash incentives being awarded to 18 outstanding Hong Kong Paralympians.
At the Rio Paralympic, the Hong Kong team finished in athletics, boccia, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing events with a total of 2 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. Through the Scheme which is supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the gold, silver and bronze medallists in individual events received HK$400,000, HK$200,000 and HK$100,000 respectively, while medal-winning teams were respectively awarded HK$560,000, HK$280,000 and HK$140,000. To further appreciate the athletes who ranked top eighth, the cash awards were extended to those individuals of HK$25,000 and teams of HK$35,000 respectively.
Officiating guests at the ceremony included Mr Lau Kong-wah JP, Secretary for Home Affairs; Mrs Jenny Fung BBS JP, President of the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (HKPC&SAPD); Mr Silas S S Yang JP, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; and Mr Carlson Tong SBS JP, Chairman of the HKSI.
Mr Tong highly commended the performance of Hong Kong Paralympians at the Rio Games. He said, “We are so proud to have Hong Kong athletes sustaining remarkable results in this ever-growing competitive international sporting arena. Sincere gratitude also goes to the support teams and all volunteers who have devoted heart and soul to taking good care of all athletes in preparation of the Games.” He continued to express thanks to the HKSAR Government, HKPC&SAPD, the Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability, and The Hong Kong Jockey Club for their long-term support and collaboration in nurturing Hong Kong athletes.
“The Hong Kong Jockey Club supports comprehensive sports development in the community. We are glad to help athletes with disabilities showcase themselves on the world stage while at the same time helping citizens learn about them and the sports they play,” Mr Yang said. “This can be a means to foster social integration of able-bodied and persons with disability, to promote sportsmanship and a can-do spirit, and so bring about more positive energy in the community.”
Swimmer Tang Wai-lok participated in men's 200m freestyle – S14 and won the very first gold for Hong Kong in this year’s Games. He finished the race in 1:56.32 in the final, not only renewing his personal best, but also breaking the Paralympic Games and the Asian records. He said, “The breakthrough in the Paralympics is entirely unexpected, and I was extremely happy. I will continue working hard to repay the support and expectations of my parents and coaches.”
After winning an individual gold in Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, Leung Yuk-wing once again won a gold in the boccia mixed individual event in Rio. He shared, “It was a long-awaited medal after going through 12 years of hard time. Therefore, I was too excited to learn the results in front of the stage. I have kept practising in the past 12 years and became more mature, and now, I have proven that my persistence is worthwhile. I hope everyone will not easily give up their dreams and targets. As long as we can persist, the success will come in one day.” He also wanted to extend his gratitude to the support received, “I am grateful that my family and coaches have always been supporting me. Moreover, I would like to thank the HKSI and The Hong Kong Jockey Club for providing athletes with a kind of recognition and support, which is truly an important motivation.”
Established by the HKSI in 1994, the Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme provides cash incentives to local medal winners at various Major Games, with an aim to show recognition and appreciation to their hard work and dedication. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust title sponsors the Scheme by providing cash awards to Hong Kong athletes who achieve outstanding performances at six Games including the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Asian Games, the Asian Para Games, the National Games and the World University Games.