With an understanding that schools are the cradles for elite athletes, HKSSA was established in 2005 as the first and only sports award to recognise student athletes from all primary, secondary and special schools across Hong Kong. Each school can commend one elite sports talent every year. By rewarding these students for their outstanding performance, HKSSA is dedicated to promoting sports in schools and to nurture the next generation of sports stars.
Mr Ron Lee, Community Relations and Marketing Director of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, and Member of HKSSA Advisory Committee said, “The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) is the supporting organisation of the HKSSA. We are delighted that HKSI and HKSSA have been supporting student sports development together for years. As the Government’s elite sports training delivery agent, HKSI is happy to see more and more students engaged in sports training. HKSSA encourages student athletes to strike a balance between academic and sports development, and strive for excellence. We hope that more student athletes will be able to join HKSI to receive training, and become the next sports superstars to scale new heights and bring glory home from international competitions.”
Ms Wu Siu Ling, Elaine, Executive Committee of The Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and Honorary Member of HKSSA Advisory Committee said, “HKSSA has embraced inclusion since its establishment. Aside from mainstream school students, the Awards recognise student athletes with special needs, such as those with visual impairments, physical and mental disabilities. Over the years, HKSSA has recognised over 700 student athletes from special schools, and the Awards also includes minority students. I would like to thank A.S. Watson Group for the promotion of multiculturalism in sports, regardless of gender and race, encouraging students from different backgrounds to pursue excellence on the sporting field.”
Ms Malina Ngai, JP, CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia & Europe) and Honorary Advisor of HKSSA Advisory Committee, added, “I was a student who benefited from sports. During my school life, I got a lot of opportunities to participate in track and field training and competitions so I started to be interested in sports and became an athlete. With unswerving perseverance, I represented Hong Kong at the Hiroshima Asian Games and eventually won the bronze medal in double sculls. This is how sports has changed my life. We believe every student athlete deserves recognition. Using “YOU ARE STAR” as the theme, HKSSA is proud to inspire student athletes to fulfill their dreams and embrace the Olympic values of being faster, higher, stronger – Together.”
HKSSA has gained overwhelming support from local schools over the past 16 years. This year, over 80% of schools participated in the programme representing a total of 883 student awards, bringing the total number of student awardees to over 13,000 since its launch. HKSSA organises different activities to encourage the awardees to pursue their dreams. In the annual award presentation ceremony, elite athletes are invited to share their stories to inspire others to remain positive against adversity and to fight for their dreams.
Hong Kong gymnast Mr Stone Shek, a two-time Asian Games gold medalist in 2012 and 2018, was an awardee of the HKSSA in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. He said, “I am honoured to be able to represent Hong Kong at international sports competitions. As an athlete, I will continue to strive for the best. HKSSA is like a big family of peer sportsmen and the spirit of ‘YES I CAN’ really shaped me into being a capable athlete. To every student athlete: YOU ARE STAR and keep pursuing your dreams!”
Each HKSSA awardee will receive a scholarship of $500 and get involved in a series of activities, including a professional sports studio shooting, with “YOU ARE STAR” as its theme. A.S. Watson Group Hong Kong Student Sports Awards 2021-22 will be open for nominations from schools starting in January 2022, please visit http://ssa.aswatson.com/ for more details.