Organised by the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), the Sports for Hope Foundation (SFHF) Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards (OJAA) presentation ceremony for the 1st quarter of 2016 took place today at the HKSI. Eight athletes were presented the Award and a special lighting ceremony was staged to kick off the 2016 award cycle.
The recipients were Ng Tsz-yau and Yeung Nga-ting (badminton), Leung Chung-pak and Li Yin-yin (cycling), Ho Kwan-kit and Lee Ka-yee (table tennis), and Anthony Jackie Tang and Wong Hong-kit (tennis).
Officiating guests included Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI; Mr Pui Kwan-kay BBS MH, 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 Miss Marie-Christine Lee, founder of the SFHF.
Thirteen-year-old table tennis player Lee Ka-yee had outstanding performances in Europe earlier this year, bringing home five medals to Hong Kong. She took two gold medals in the cadet girl’s doubles and team events, and a bronze medal in the singles at the 2016 French Junior & Cadet Open, followed by a gold medal in the cadet girl’s singles and a silver medal in the doubles events at the 2016 Swedish Junior & Cadet Open. Lee said, “I will continue to train diligently and hope to win some medals at the Asian level in the next two or three years. I am grateful for the support and recognition from the Sports For Hope Foundation which means a lot to all junior athletes.” She will celebrate her joy and excitement of winning the Award with her family.
Another table tennis player, Ho Kwan-kit, took a gold and a bronze medal in the men’s singles (U21) event at the Qatar Open and Hungarian Open respectively. He also bagged two silver medals, in the men’s singles (U21) and doubles (U21), at the Kuwait Open. All three events are part of the 2016 ITTF World Tour and this is the fourth time Ho is honoured with an OJAA title.
Tennis partners Anthony Jackie Tang and Wong Hong-kit both received the Award this quarter after winning a silver and a bronze respectively at the LTAT ITF Junior in Thailand and 27th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup (I) ITF Junior Tennis Championships in Malaysia. As a full-time athlete at the HKSI, Wong Hong-kit has progressed well in the past few months, winning several titles in overseas junior competitions and local open competitions. He sees Roger Federer, who fought hard on the court for many years and became a great example to the world, as his role model.
Junior cyclists Leung Chung-pak and Li Yin-yin were awarded OJAA titles as well for their superb performances at the 23rd Asian Junior Cycling Championships in Japan. Leung won a silver medal in the men’s junior scratch event while Li won second and third in the women’s junior keirin and junior team pursuit respectively. Leung said, “This award is a great encouragement to me and reinforces my efforts to continue pursuing my dream. I want to thank my family, coach and friends for their ongoing support.” Li started cycling training through the Searching for New Sports Stars Programme only two years ago and greatly admires elite athlete Lee Wai-sze. She added, “Like Lee, I only started cycling at 16 – very late compared to many others. Despite this, I believe I can be a winner, just like her.”
Women’s junior badminton duo Ng Tsz-yau and Yeung Nga-ting received their sixth and third OJAA title in this quarter again for their medal-winning performance at the YONEX Dutch Junior 2016 in March.
In addition, Tam Yun-fung and Cheung Ka-wai (billiard sports) and Liao Xianhao (swimming) were awarded a Certificate of Merit.
Organised by the HKSI and sponsored by the Sports for Hope Foundation 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.