The annual celebration and 4th quarter 2015 presentation ceremony of the Sports for Hope Foundation (SFHF) Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards (OJAA) was held at the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) today. For this quarter, a total of 13 junior athletes were presented with awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements. To wrap up the 2015 sporting performances, three annual awards were also presented at the Ceremony.
Snooker player Cheung Ka-wai stunned the crowd by dominating the whole game and finally took the title at the IBSF World Under-18 Championships 2015. He was selected the Most Outstanding Junior Athlete of 2015 which is presented to an awardee who has won a medal at a 5-point competition rated under the Elite Vote Scoring Table. Another annual award, the Most Promising Junior Athlete, went to squash player Choi Uen-shan, as she has been awarded three times or more in the year. The Hong Kong Table Tennis Association, was presented the Most Supportive National Sports Association for their submission of the highest number of successful nominations this year.
The officiating guests at the ceremony were 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.
The awardees of this quarter are Ng Tsz-yau and Yeung Nga-ting (badminton), Cheung Ka-wai and Lo Ho-sum (billiard sports), Chan Man-fung and Ma Pak-hong (roller sports), Ho Kwan-kit, Kwan Man-ho, Lee Yat-hin and Ng Pak-nam (table tennis), Ng Hei-ching and Venia Yeung (tennis), and Tam Hoi-lam (swimming).
2015 should be an unforgettable year for Cheung Ka-wai as he won over his compatriot in the final and became the U-18 World Champion. Although he had achieved such a remarkable result in the past, Cheung is not complacent about this and has already set his target on the Asian U-21 Snooker Championships which will be held in March this year in Sri Lanka. He is keen to follow in the footstep of his role model Marco Fu and become one of the most iconic snooker players in the world.
Roller skater Ma Pak-hong fell in love with the sport when he walked by the roller skating rinks at Victoria Park at eight years of age and started training two years later. Throughout his seven years of training, his most memorable moment was the World Freestyle Skating Championships 2015, where he successfully finished a difficult routine called “one-wheel teapot” and finished seventh in the senior men speed slalom event. Ma, who is studying in the United Kingdom, looks forward to competing in the senior squad this year. He said, “It is a big change for me. The opponents at the senior level are very strong. I will work harder to enhance my strength and skills, and to learn from the foreign players in the UK.”
Ma’s cousin, Chan Man-fung, is another promising sports star in roller skating who finished at the fourth place in the junior men speed slalom event at the same competition with Ma. Chan is also the first Hong Kong roller skater to win a medal at the World Championships. Like Ma, Chan will be promoted to the senior squad this year. Being awarded OJAA title for the third time, he sincerely thanked the SFHF and the HKSI because this quarterly award represents appreciation, recognition and encouragement to the athletes. It is a reminder to him to train harder and to challenge himself by joining more competitions.
It is the first time for swimmer Tam Hoi-lam to be awarded the OJAA title. Tam has done very well at the 8th Asian Age Group Championships 2015 where she obtained 1 silver and 1 bronze medal in 50m and 100m freestyle event respectively. With her outstanding sports talent, she would consider turning to full-time training after graduation from secondary school. Her ultimate goal is to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
In addition, Cheung Wang-fung (athletics), Leung Hoi-wah and Fung Ka-hoo (cycling), Jerry Lee and Sin Kam-ho (dancesports), Oscar Coggins and Wong Tsz-to (triathlon), and Wong Kwan-to (swimming) were awarded the Certificate of Merit for this quarter.
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.
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.