Organised by the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), sponsored by the Sports for Hope Foundation (SFHF) and supported by the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) and the Hong Kong Sports Press Association (HKSPA), the Annual Celebration and 4th quarter presentation ceremony of the Sports for Hope Foundation Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards 2017 was held at the HKSI today. A total of 16 junior athletes were presented with awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements in this quarter. To conclude the overall sporting performances in 2017, two annual awards including the Most Outstanding Junior Athletes and the Most Supportive National Sports Association were also presented at the Ceremony.
In 2017, numerous junior athletes had remarkable results in international competitions. Amongst them, three athletes namely Robbie James Capito (Billiards Sports), Mak Cheuk-wing (Windsurfing) and Yim Ching-hei (Athletics – Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability), had the best sporting results and were awarded the Most Outstanding Junior Athletes of 2017. Following the success in 2016, Mak was presented the same title again this year as she completed the girls U15 event at the 2017 Techno 293 World Championships with a silver medal, being the first Hong Kong windsurfer to win a medal in the junior events of the World Championships two years in a row. Besides, she also came fifth in the Youth Women Class Windsurfing event at the 2017 Techno 293 Plus World Championships. On the other hand, Capito and Yim (both the first-time annual award winners) also achieved remarkable results last year. Capito claimed a gold medal in Boys’ Single at the Asian Pool Championship 2017 and a silver in Boy’s U17 category at the 2017 World Junior 9-ball Championships, while Yim brought home a gold medal in the Boys’ T20 400m event at the INAS Athletics Championships.
Robbie James Capito was excited to receive the annual award and he is thankful for the support from his family, coaches, school and the HKSI. “At the beginning of this academic year, I became a full-time athlete and moved to the HKSI Athlete Hostel as I wish to focus on billiards training. In order to adapt to the full-time training routine, I have also switched to Lam Tai Fai College which offers flexible school schedule for athletes. The full-range support from my school and the HKSI allows me to continue my sports training and studies in parallel. It is my honour to be selected as one of the Most Outstanding Junior Athletes of 2017. The award will motivate me to keep pushing my limits as I go on pursuing my dreams in billiard sports. I also want to give this honour to my dad in heaven because I could not show him my gold medal before he left, so I will continue to work hard for him as a goal.” he remarked.
The Hong Kong Table Tennis Association has submitted the highest number of successful nominations for 2017 and was awarded the Most Supportive National Sports Association for the seventh consecutive year.
The officiating guests at the ceremony were Miss Marie-Christine Lee, founder of the SFHF; Mr Pui Kwan-kay SBS MH, Vice-President of the SF&OC; Miss Chui Wai-wah, Committee Member of the HKSPA and Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI.
The recipients of this quarter are Ko Shing-hei (Badminton), Robbie James Capito (Billiard Sports), Chan Yin-yau (Equestrian), Cheng Hui-pan (Karatedo), Ha Yat-ting and Po Ting-jun (Lawn Bowls) (Lawn Bowls), Chau Wing-sze, Lee Ka-yee and Wong Chin-yau (Table Tennis), Wong Hoi-ki and Wong Hong-yi (Tennis), Cheng Ching-yin and Mak Cheuk-wing (Windsurfing), Hui Ka-chun (Swimming – Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability), Wan Wai-lok (Table Tennis – Hong Kong Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability) and Cheung Yuen (Boccia – Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled).
Badminton player Ko Shing-hei had notable achievements in this quarter. On top of winning the U17 Boys’ Singles at the Singapore Youth International Series 2017, Ko also captured the Champion in Mixed Doubles and the 2nd runner up in Boys’ Singles in his debut at the Asia U17 & U15 Junior Championships 2017.
In the 2nd AEF Junior Jumping Championship 2017, equestrian Chan Yin-yau outplayed 17 elites in the Asian region at his homecourt and clinched the gold medal. Growing up in an equestrian family, Chan has been inspired by his sister, Chan Sze-yung, who is also a member of the Hong Kong Equestrian Team, and looked up to her as a role model since he was a kid. He mentioned, “Four years ago, my sister went to the Youth Olympic Games as a Hong Kong Team Delegate. I hope I can excel her in the future and have greater achievements in international competitions. I am truly grateful for the recognition and support from the Foundation. It has offered us an opportunity to bring our sport to public’s attention and raise awareness.”
Partnered with Wong Hoi-ki, 15-year-old Wong Hong-yi brought home a bronze medal in Girls’ Doubles at the 2017 Seogwipo Asia/ Oceania Closed Junior Championships, which paved her way to the main round of the Australian Open Girls’ Singles earlier this year. The tennis pair is awarded the title together in this quarter.
It was a memorable experience for boccia athlete Cheung Yuen to win a silver medal in the Mixed BC4 Individual event at the 2017 Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai. She aspires to be a great boccia athlete like Paralympic gold medalist Leung Yuk-wing, “Leung is an exceptional athlete with admirable qualities – skillful, passionate about boccia and a good role model.”
New faces at the Ceremony of this quarter are Ha Yat-ting and Po Ting-jun of the U25 Lawn Bowls Team. With an excellent and stable performance in the 10th Asian U25 Lawn Bowls Championships, the team netted the champion of the Mixed Pairs event and was awarded as Outstanding Junior Athlete for the first time.
In addition, Certificates of Merit were awarded to Jerry Lee and Sin Kam-ho (Dance Sports), Hung Wing-yan and Wong Wai-chun (Rowing), Kwok Tsz-fung and Lam Ching-yan (Skating), and Oscar Coggins and Wong Tsz-to (Triathlon) for this quarter. Poon Ching-chiu (Billiard Sports) and Wong Wing-ho (Canoe) were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation to acknowledge their effort.
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 recognises 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. For teams, they will receive a cash award of HK$10,000, a sport voucher worth HK$10,000 and certificates.
The HKSI is the Government’s elite sport training systems delivery agent and is committed to provide 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.