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Tribute Paid to Coaches at Annual Hongkong Bank Foundation Coaching Awards Presentation

24 April 2005

The hard work and efforts of Hong Kong's coaches were once again in the spotlight as the prestigious Hongkong Bank Foundation (HBF) Coaching Awards Presentation was successfully held at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong today (Sunday) with more than 200 guests from the local sports community attending the annual event.

Presented by the Hong Kong Coaching Committee (HKCC) with the support of the HBFongkong Bank Foundation, the Awards scheme is the only territory-wide programme that pays tribute to achievements of outstanding coaches in Hong Kong.

Professor Frank Fu, Chairman of the HKCC, said Hong Kong athletes achieved remarkable results last year and this could not have happened without the quality work of coaches from behind the scenes.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all coaches. Special thanks should go to the National Sports Associations, who have worked closely with the HKCC to raise the level of coach education and profile of coaches in Hong Kong."

"We are most grateful to have the HBFongkong Bank Foundation as our sponsor and delighted that the Foundation will continue to support the Hong Kong Coach Education Programme for the next two years, bringing the total funding to more than HK$16 million. and, oOur partnership will certainly bring the Programme to new heights," said Fu.

Dorothy Sit, member of the HBFongkong Bank Foundation Advisory Committee and Chairpersonlady of Wayfoong Sports Club, showed her appreciation to the hard working of local coaches. and that their critical role would not be overlooked and would always be recognised. "Every day, coaches instruct and inspire Hong Kong's athletes at various levels and in various sports. The HBF has been funding the Coach Education Programme and the Awards since the early 1990s to acknowledge the importance of coaches in developing athletes," Mrs Sit said.

"The Hongkong Bank Foundation has been funding the Coach Education Programme and these Awards since the early 1990s. We believe that what all of you (coaches) do day in and day out to instruct and to inspire Hong Kong's athletes at various levels and in various sports is remarkable," said Sit.

A total of 61 awards in six categories were handed out at the Presentation, namely Coach of the Year Awards, Coaching Excellence Awards, Best Team Sport Award, Distinguished Services Award for Coaching, Coach Education Award and Community Coach Recognition Awards.

Badminton coach Tim He stole the limelight with his first Coach of the Year Award. The former Hong Kong team player was crowned the title in senior athletes, individual sport category after guiding his charge Wang Chen to a fifth position in the women's singles at the Olympic Games in Athens and a silver medal at the star-studded China Open 2004.

Last year, Hong Kong's disabled fencers also achieved great success at the Paralympic Games in Athens, capturing four gold and one silver medals in individual events of wheelchair fencing. Their coach Zheng Kang-zhao therefore caught the eyes of the selectors and shared the top honour with He in winning the other Coach of the Year Award in the same category.

The world-class wheelchair fencing coach scored a double when Zheng won the title again in senior athletes, team sport category. Under his guidance, Hong Kong wheelchair fencers collected two medals in team event at the Athens Paralympics - a gold and a sliver medal in the women's and men's team foil respectively.

Zheng's honour was also shared by another outstanding coach in 2004. Table tennis coach Chan Kong-wah brought home probably the best result of Hong Kong sport when his men's doubles team of Li Ching and Ko Lai-chak bagged an Olympic Games silver medal in Athens, earning him also the Coach of the Year Award in senior athletes, team sport category. The combination of Li and Ko had become the second Olympic medalist for Hong Kong following the success of Lee Lai-shan at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Windsurfing coach Sam Wong Tak-sum made it four times in a row when he snatched the Coach of the Year title in junior athletes, individual sport for 2004. Wong made a successful switch from an athlete to a coach a couple of years ago, consistently leading his broad- sailors to high rankings in international youth events. In 2004, promising Yu Wing-ho continued his winning streak when he came second in the boys' mistral at the 11th Asian Sailing Championships and eighth in the Mistral Youth Men World Championships. Another promising youngster Ma Kwok-po was fourth in the mistral junior men world event.

A "Special Recognition Award" was presented to Hong Kong table tennis team's head coach Hui Jun, for his outstanding contribution to the sport from junior to elite level. Under his guidance, the Hong Kong team, including men, ladies and junior teams, had a remarkable year in 2004. The men's doubles team won a silver medal at the Olympic Games, the women's team clinched a silver medal at the 47th World Team Championships where the men's team also finished fifth. In junior event, a boys' singles (under age 15) bronze medal was won at the 10th Asian Junior Championships.

Ivan Torpey of rugby won the Best Team Sport Award for steering the Hong Kong team to a bronze medal at the 19th Asian Rugby Football Tournament.

Boccia coach Leung Yim-fan won the Distinguished Services Award for Coaching while Chau Yat-kwong of badminton was winner for the Coach Education Award.

38 coachesbecame recipients for won the Coaching Excellence Awards for having led an athlete or a team to achieve outstanding performance at major international competitions such as the Olympics, Asian Games and World Championships in 2004. The Community Coach Recognition Awards were awarded to 15 coaches who were adjudged to have made a special contribution to the development of athletes and coaches within the community for a period of three consecutive years.

The HKCC is a joint committee of the Sport Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China and the Hong Kong Sports Institute. Set up in 1991, it aims to build an infrastructure conducive to shaping the development of coach education in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Coach Education Programme has been sponsored by the HBFongkong Bank Foundation since 1992. Throughout the years, more than 18,000 coacheshad have been accredited from or haved participated in the Programme.

List of Recipients for the 2004 Hongkong Bank Foundation Coaching Awards (PDF)