International Olympic Committee

Retired athletes to receive HK$14m helping hand

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2008, 12:00am

A sum of HK$14 million will be spent in the next three years on a programme to help Hong Kong athletes prepare for new careers upon retirement from their sports.

Launched yesterday with retired windsurfer Sam Wong Tak-sum at its head, the Hong Kong Athletes Career and Education Programme aims to nurture confident, respectable and competitive athletes through the provision of support for their studies and career development.

'How to support themselves in the future is a major concern for athletes,' said Wong.

'As a retired athlete, I know their needs and hope I can help.'

Athletes from 74 national sports associations under the Sports Federation can benefit from the programme, initiated by the International Olympic Committee last year. The programme will be funded for the next three years by the Hong Kong Olympic committee, the government and the private sector.

Wong said there would be different levels of support, with athletes from the Olympic sports in the top tier, followed by Asian Games sports.

The programme will be divided into two parts, support provided to current and retired athletes.

Current athletes can get financial support for part-time study, attending seminars and workshops on life skills, as well as enjoying consultation on education and career development and internship opportunities.

More emphasis would be placed on career building and long-term study options for retired athletes.