Sports for Hope Foundation and Hong Kong Sports Institute Recognise 25 Outstanding Junior Athletes
Organised by the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), the Sports for Hope Foundation (SFHF) Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards (OJAA) presentation ceremony for the 3rd quarter of 2016 was held at the HKSI today. Ten junior athletes received the award for their outstanding performance and another 15 junior athletes were awarded the Certificate of Merit in this quarter.
Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI; Mr Pui Kwan-kay SBS, Vice-President of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC); Mr Chu Hoi-kun, Chairman of the Hong Kong Sports Press Association (HKSPA) and Ms Marie-Christine Lee, founder of the SFHF officiated at the Ceremony.
The recipients included Cheung Ka-wai and Tam Yun-fung (billiard sports), Ma Pak-hong and Lee Chak-him (roller sports), Lui Hiu-lam and Chan Sin-yuk (squash), Soo Wai-yam and Mak Tze-wing (table tennis), Leung Pui-hei and Mak Cheuk-wing (windsurfing).
The eighteen-year-old table tennis player Soo Wai-yam was honoured with the OJAA title for the eighth time after claiming the girls’ doubles champion at the 22nd Asian Junior & Cadet Table Tennis Championships. “My sincere thanks go to SFHF for supporting the young athletes, that recognises our abilities and encourages us to excel in every single competition,” she said. She targeted to reach top 30 in the world ranking and be able to strive for excellent performance in the upcoming Asian and World Championships. Her ultimate goal is a medal in the women’s team event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Soo’s partner, Mak Tze-wing was awarded the OJAA title for the fourth time. Looking back, she found the journey to the girls’ doubles title at the Asian Junior & Cadet Championships most impressive. “We all felt sad about missing a medal in the team event. It took a whole night for us to settle down. I am glad that we were able to pull ourselves together and regained the fighting spirit. Finally, we made the history!” She thanked SFHF for supporting and encouraging young athletes. She regards her teammates Doo Hoi-kem and Lee Ho-ching as her role models, and hopes to represent Hong Kong on the international stage one day.
Young snooker player Cheung Ka-wai was named an Outstanding Junior Athlete for the second time after taking the third place, out of 116 entries, in the U21 Individual event at the 2016 IBSF World U18 & U21 Snooker Championships in August. He is looking forward to becoming U21 world champion in the near future and wants to become a full-time athlete once he graduates from secondary school.
Cheung’s teammate, Tam Yun-fung received his second OJAA after winning the silver medal for Hong Kong in the U18 individual event at the above-mentioned competition. He believed that SFHF could motivate young athletes to work harder in training and perform better. He said he would need to practise more and improve his performance for the upcoming U18 World Championship.
Windsurfers Leung Pui-hei and Mak Cheuk-wing shone at the Techno 293 Plus European Championships 2016, where Leung became the U19 boys’ champion and Mak won the silver medal in the U19 girls’ event. It is the first time for both of them to be awarded an OJAA title. Leung, who is 16 years old, and Mak at 13 are surely ready to become the spotlight in the world of windsurfing.
Mak Tze-wing, Cheung Ka-wai and karate athlete Chau Ka-him, who was awarded the Certificate of Merit this quarter, come from Lam Tai Fai College, a partner school under the HKSI Partnership School Programme (Programme). Chau shared at the Ceremony and said, “The College provides comprehensive and individualised support including flexible school curriculum which could fit in my full-time training. That highly facilitated me to achieve higher goals while maintaining my academic pursuit. The Scheme encourages young talented athletes to follow their dreams in sports without concerns over personal development.” Apart from Lam Tai Fai College, English Schools Foundation which also joined the Programme provides an integrated and flexible education programme to cater to full-time athletes’ study need at the senior secondary level.
In addition, Sin Kam-ho and Jerry Lee (dance sports) and Hong Kong Boys’ Youth Volleyball Team were each awarded a Certificate of Merit.
Organised by the HKSI and sponsored by the SFHF since 2012, with support from the SF&OC and the HKSPA, the OJAA recognise the achievements of outstanding local junior athletes under the age of 19, on a quarterly basis. Each recipient is presented with a cash prize of HK$2,500, a sports voucher worth HK$2,500 and a certificate.
The HKSI is the Government’s elite sport training systems delivery agent and is committed to providing an environment in which sports talent can be identified, nurtured and developed to pursue excellence in the international sporting arena and to inspire potential athletes to pursue a full-time sports career.