Human Interest

Olympic coaches honoured

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 May, 1997, 12:00am

Two Hong Kong coaches, who led the territory's disabled athletes to great success at last year's Paralympic Games in Atlanta, have won prestigious Coach of the Year Awards.


Poon Kin-lui and Wong Ruiji were honoured at the annual Hongkong Bank Foundation Coaching Awards Presentation.


Poon coached the gold medal-winning and world record-breaking 4 x 100 metres relay team, and Wong guided wheelchair fencer Ben Cheung Wai- leung to four gold medals at last year's Games.


They captured the awards in the senior athletes and individual sport sub-categories respectively.


The judges also gave a vote of confidence to windsurfing coach Rene Appel, who won the senior athletes, individual sport sub-category yet again.


Appel, who trained Lee Lai- shan to an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta, has now retained the Coach of the Year title for the fourth consecutive year since the awards scheme was first introduced in 1994.


Also on the honours list was wushu coach Yu Liguang, who collected the Coach of the Year Award for junior athletes, individual sport by coaching the junior performers to 10 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals at the Asian Youth Invitation tournament.


Organised by the Hong Kong Coaching Committee (HKCC) and sponsored by the Hongkong Bank Foundation, the awards scheme, which is presented in five categories, is the only scheme in Hong Kong to recognise the contribution of coaches on a territory-wide basis.


HKCC chairman Professor Frank Fu paid tribute to all coaches who worked hard to help athletes achieve those outstanding results.


Chris Clark, who arrived in the territory in 1986 as head squash coach at Hong Kong Sports Institute, won the Distinguished Services Award for Coaching.


Clark has been the national coach since his appointment at the institute and is currently a member of the World and Asian Squash Federation Coaching Committee.


The Coach Education Award was presented to Cheng Wai-ming for his contribution to education in basketball. Cheng has been a Level One and Two course tutor of Hong Kong Basketball Association since 1982 and has organised seminars for coaches.


A total of 13 coaches received the Coaching Excellence Awards. They trained individuals or teams to third place or better at the Asian or East Asian Championships, or at an equivalent major regional championship, or to sixth place or better at the Olympics or World Championships.


They were: Chan Chi-choi, Chan Kai-sang, David Cheng Chung-yin, Chris Clark, Choi Yuk-kwan, Poon Kin-lui, Rene Appel, Shen Jinkang, Wang Ruiji, Wong Chung-him, Wong Man-wa, Yeung Ching and Yu Liguang.