The Hong Kong Jockey Club staged the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Raceday at Sha Tin Racecourse today (27 December) in celebration of Hong Kong’s top athletes and of the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI). Elite athletes, Government officials and leaders of sports associations joined the event, which featured the HKSI 30th Anniversary Cup and the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Cup.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it was an honour to officiate at the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Raceday, to recognise the outstanding performance of elite athletes over the past year, and to celebrate HKSI’s 30th anniversary. “Our elite athletes are a shot in the arm for Hong Kong. They spread positive energy throughout the community.” The Government, the HKSI, the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and the Club have all provided strong support for athletes and for sports development.
In his welcome remarks, Club Chairman Philip Chen praised the efforts of Hong Kong athletes in Tokyo. They have both inspired the community and provided a unique opportunity to promote sport and sports development.
Mr Chen noted that the Club is a staunch supporter of sports, “We believe that sport is absolutely essential to a healthy community, contributing not just to physical well-being but to social and mental wellness. This is why the Club is supporting sports, fitness and wellness programmes at every level. We hope that our athletes’ success will encourage everyone to follow in their footsteps, enjoying all the pleasures and benefits of sport.” The Club has donated over HK$730 million to the HKSI, including to build infrastructure and to support sports programmes. Another initiative has been the Hong Kong Jockey Club Elite Athletes Fund. Recently, the Club provided funding to match the Government’s grant to establish the Sports Science and Research Funding Scheme.
Chairman of the HKSI Dr Lam Tai-fai said that the HKSI, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, had witnessed many elite athletes bring glory to Hong Kong over the past few decades, “Despite Hong Kong being such a small place, Hong Kong athletes shine not only at the regional level but also on the world stage. I believe the whole community shares our feelings of pride in the athletes.”
Dr Lam also took the opportunity of the HKSI 30th Anniversary Cup to thank the Club on behalf of the HKSI and the athletes. He noted that the Club’s support for elite sports development, and in particular the recent launch of the Sports Science and Research Funding Scheme jointly funded with the Government can strengthen Hong Kong athletes’ competitiveness in the international sporting arena.
The HKSI 30th Anniversary Cup was won by Senor Toba, trained by Caspar Fownes and ridden by Joao Moreira, while Prime Minister, trained by Ricky Yiu with Derek Leung aboard took the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Cup. Other races were named for the seven sports that produced medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, namely fencing, swimming, cycling, table tennis, karate, badminton and boccia. The eighth race was named for equestrian sport.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2020/21, the Club returned a total of HK$29.4 billion to the community. This included HK$24.9 billion to the Government in duty, profits tax and Lotteries Fund contributions and HK$4.5 billion in approved charity donations. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always "riding high together for a better future" with the people of Hong Kong.