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HKSI and PolyU Enhance Admission and Flexible Learning Support to Foster Dual Career Pathways for Elite Athletes

03 November 2022

Under the witness of Mr Eric Chan Kwok-ki GBS IDSM JP (back row, middle), Chief Secretary for Administration, Ms Alice Mak Mei-kuen SBS JP (back row, left), Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs and Dr Lam Tai-fai GBS JP (back row, right) Council Chairman of PolyU and Chairman of the HKSI, Prof Jin-Guang Teng JP (front row, left), President of PolyU and Dr Trisha Leahy SBS BBS (front row, right), Chief Executive of the HKSI signed MOU on the Elite Athletes Study Programme. Read More

Dr Trisha Leahy SBS BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI, thanked PolyU for providing more academic opportunities for elite athletes under the MOU. Read More

Fencer Kwan Yee-man (left), squash athlete Tam Cho-nga (middle) and swimmer Ho Nam-wai (right) shared their experiences in balancing both athlete training and academic studies. Read More

The HKSI and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Elite Athletes Study Programme to enhance a joint programme concerning admission and flexible learning arrangements for elite athletes, enabling them to receive full-time athlete training while continuing to pursue their university studies.

The ceremony was witnessed by Mr Eric Chan Kwok-ki GBS IDSM JP, Chief Secretary for Administration; Ms Alice Mak Mei-kuen SBS JP, Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs; and Dr Lam Tai-fai GBS JP, Council Chairman of PolyU and Chairman of the HKSI. The MOU was signed by Prof Jin-Guang Teng JP, President of PolyU and Dr Trisha Leahy SBS BBS, Chief Executive of the HKSI.

Prof Teng said, “PolyU has always been supportive of nurturing elite Hong Kong athletes, and hopefully the two parties will continue to work together to further enhance the Elite Athletes Study Programme”. He added, “Since five years ago, PolyU and the HKSI started to collaborate on the Elite Athletes Study Programme to further strengthen support for athletes. Since then, a total of 17 elite athletes have been admitted to PolyU to pursue their studies in various subjects including health and social sciences, business, engineering, humanities, science, and hotel and tourism management, etc.”

Dr Leahy said she was thankful to PolyU for its continued support of the betterment of dual career development for elite athletes. She said, “To sustain the local development of elite sports, the HKSI has attached great importance to the whole-person development of elite athletes, in addition to high-performance training, with an aim to attract more gifted young persons to join the elite athlete family. With more academic opportunities offered under the MOU, elite athletes will be enabled to keep striving for sports excellence while pursuing their tertiary education simultaneously.”

Through this collaboration, the HKSI will nominate qualified elite athletes to study full-time undergraduate programmes at PolyU. The collaboration allows nominated athletes to have flexibility in their studies by extending the required study period, which is particularly crucial to athletes who need to attend intensive training courses. PolyU will also provide individual mentorship services to support athletes in areas ranging from academic studies to campus life adjustment. Under the enhanced arrangement, the number of nominations of full-time athletes will be raised from 20 to 30 per academic year and be made by two rounds per year. As an encouragement, PolyU will offer a scholarship to all eligible student athletes.

The ceremony was also attended by a number of current PolyU elite athletes who were admitted under the Student-Athlete Learning Support and Admission Scheme. They shared their experiences in balancing both athlete training and academic studies. Swimmer Ho Nam-wai, who represented Hong Kong to compete in the women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is currently studying Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scheme in English and Applied Linguistics. She said, “I generally spend an average of three to four weeks in overseas training or competitions per semester. The flexible study arrangement of the programme allows me to concentrate on training.

Fencer Kwan Yee-man, who won the bronze medal in the women’s epee team event at the Asian Under 23 Fencing Championships in October, is currently studying Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physiotherapy. She said, “Balancing studies and sports training could be challenging, but PolyU professors provide me with individual mentorship on my studies, allowing me to keep up with the learning progress in the tight training schedule.”

Squash athlete Tam Cho-nga, is currently studying Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Laboratory Science. She believes that PolyU provides robust support to full-time athlete, graduates are eligible for professional qualifications after completing the studies, which can broaden the professional development in the future.

Targeting to attract more sporting talents to devote themselves to full-time training, the HKSI has established the Elite Athlete-friendly School Network in 2014 and the Partnership School Programme in 2015, working with local universities for supporting athletes on their dual career pathway in their sporting life.

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