The HKSI recognises the importance of a whole-person development approach to athlete development. It offers athletes educational and career planning services to cater for their different needs at various stages of their sporting careers.
MOUs Signed with Universities in 2018/19
Elite Athletes Admitted to Universities in 2018/19 under MOUs
Athletes Studying under Partnership School Programme
Partnership School Athletes Admitted to Universities in 2018/19
Inaugurated in 2015, the Partnership School Programme (PSP) with the English Schools Foundation and Lam Tai Fai College provides a tailor-made curriculum to meet young athletes’ training and education needs, enabling them to train full-time while studying at the senior secondary level. The 2017/18 academic year marked the first year for PSP student athletes to complete their senior secondary education. A class of 19 athletes graduated, among them seven were enrolled in universities. Twenty-six athletes had successfully joined the PSP for the 2018/19 academic year. As at 31 March 2019, a total of 61 athletes were studying under the programme.
In 2018/19, the HKSI signed MOUs with Lingnan University, City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology respectively. As at 31 March 2019, nine tertiary institutions were engaged in MOUs with the HKSI for supporting athletes on their dual career pathways during their sporting lives. A total of 25 athletes from 13 Tier A sports and one Tier B sport were admitted to different study programmes for the 2018/19 academic year under the MOUs. Among them, 10 competed at the 2018 Asian Games and brought home four medals in total, testifying to the success of the dual career pathway model.
The HKSI also provides general education and career planning services to athletes, such as tutorial support, continuing education subsidies, and scholarships for athletes who are enrolled in the PSP. As at 31 March 2019, 320 athletes received educational support.
Athletes may also apply for grants to cover tuition fees as well as subsistence allowances through the Hong Kong Athletes Fund. In 2018/19, HK$3.01 million of funding was approved to cover tuition fees of 21 athletes up to the 2023/24 academic year. The recipients were:
The Government announced in the 2019/20 Budget that HK$250 million would be injected to the Hong Kong Athletes Fund to increase scholarship awards as a means of support for the dual career pathways of athletes pursuing both elite training and academics. Cash incentives for full-time athletes upon retirement from sports would also be increased.
In addition to educational support, the HKSI also helps elite athletes transit from competition to a career in sports coaching through the Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme. The programme enables elite athletes who plan to retire within two years to develop coaching skills and gain practical coaching experience to prepare for a new career after competition. The Programme has benefited 29 athletes since its launch in 2008, and has been sponsored by the Western Harbour Tunnel Company since 2013.
Organised by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department with support from the Education Bureau and the HKSI, the School Sports Programme Coordinator (SSPC) Scheme is another initiative that helps retired athletes and promotes the sporting culture in schools by maximising secondary school students’ exposure to and engagement in sports. Twenty-three retired athletes had completed their job services as SSPC for 23 secondary schools in August 2018 during the second edition of the scheme.
The Elite Athletes Performance Recognition Scheme, set up in 2015 under the Hong Kong Athletes Fund, continued to support athletes’ pursuit of a second career after retiring from high-level sporting competition. In 2018/19, HK$1.98 million was distributed to seven eligible retired athletes: Chan Tsz-ka (badminton), Yeung Chui-ling (fencing), Cheung Kwan-lok (Karatedo), Law Hiu-fung (rowing), Wang Xinyue (skating), Kam Siu-lun (tenpin bowling) and Yeung Wai-ki (tenpin bowling).
Social & Personal Development
The HKSI has in place other tailor-made programmes that enable athletes to dedicate themselves to an elite training lifestyle in parallel with social and personal development.
In 2018/19, 42 workshops and experiential activities were organised for 809 Scholarship Athletes, offering them learning opportunities in areas such as media handling, image building, goal setting, team building, public speaking and finance management, etc.
As part of the athlete development programme, the Olympism Camp, co-organised by the SF&OC and the HKSI, was held in February 2019. A total of 26 athletes from six Tier A and Tier B sports joined the camp to learn the core values of Olympism.
Athletes are also provided with opportunities to exchange views and insights with counterparts from mainland China and other countries and regions. These activities broaden their knowledge and understanding of the structure and development of different sports systems. An exchange tour was held from 3 to 7 December 2018 for 15 athletes to visit the National Training Centre and a number of universities in Chinese Taipei. Participants gained knowledge of the athlete pathway and the dual career support for athletes. Various cultural exchange programmes were also arranged for athletes to explore the local traditions.
With the increasing number of full-time elite athletes, 26 Sports Residence rooms were converted into hostel rooms for athletes to expand the capacity of the Athlete Hostel to 422 places. As at 31 March 2019, the Athlete Hostel, which provides a comfortable professional base, accommodated 386 elite athletes.