In recognition of their achievements in local and international sports, 24 young men and women received Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards (OJAA) at the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) on Monday. The awards have been sponsored by the Sports for Hope Foundation since 2012, and each recipient is presented with a HK$2,500 cash prize, a HK$2,500 sports voucher, and a certificate.
The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee vice-president, Pui Kwan-kay, said he is delighted by the success of Hong Kong's junior athletes.
"The awards recognise the city's brilliant sports development that helps many junior athletes to explore and reach their full potential," Pui said. "I hope the awards will inspire them to do better in future competitions."
He rows with the flow
Chan Chi-fung from Yu Chun Keung Memorial College was awarded the OJAA for his outstanding performance at the 21st Asian Junior Rowing Championships in Wuhan, in Hubei province, in July. He won a gold medal in junior men's single scull, with his time of 7 minutes, 20 seconds beating competitors from 10 other Asian nations. He and his team also won silver in the junior men's quadruple.
Chi-fung told Young Post the award was just rewards for his efforts. "I believe in 'no pain, no gain', so I trained very hard. I also learned a lot from my coach, teammates and competitors in terms of positive attitude, teamwork and determination to win," said the 17-year-old.
He is now preparing for the junior men's single scull at the 2016 World Rowing Junior Championships, to be held in the Netherlands in August, where he hopes to be among the top 10. "This award is definitely a confidence booster and I will train even harder to do well in the world championships," said Chi-fung.
"I also hope to win two gold medals at the next Asian Junior Rowing Championships."
Kudos for kung fu finesse
The ceremony also honoured some of the city's up-and-coming wushu stars. Sha Tin College's Lydia Sham Hui-yu, 15, won gold and silver medals in Group B women's daoshu and changquan, respectively, at the eighth Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, in August. She said the award recognised her achievement and the effort she put into the sport.
"I trained hard to make sure I did well in the competition," said Lydia. "Wushu takes stability and posture so one mistake can lead to a poor result. I learned a huge lesson at the fifth World Junior Wushu Championships in 2014, where I made mistakes in changquan and qiangshu, so I didn't reach the top three.
"Afterwards, I watched clips showing my mistakes to see how I could improve, especially jumping and landing. I practised these techniques a lot and finally my effort paid off in the Asian Junior Wushu Championships."
Now, Lydia is setting her sights on the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Lau Tsz-lung, who came first in the boys' Group A daoshu in Xilinhot, said he appreciated the award.
"The award recognised my good time management, effort and dedication to the sport," said Tse-lung. "This will inspire me to strengthen my basic techniques in preparation for upcoming competitions."