Sports body raises incentives for Games wins

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 August, 2009, 12:00am

The Sports Commission approved a proposal yesterday to raise cash incentives for Games medal winners.

A Hong Kong gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympics would receive HK$3 million, compared with the HK$1 million offered to athletes at last year's Beijing Games.

The reward for silver and bronze medal winners would double to HK$1.5 million and triple to HK$750,000, respectively, under the revised Athlete Incentive Award Scheme. It would be the first revision to the award in 15 years since the scheme was set up in 1994. Hong Kong has won two Olympic medals.

The commission also agreed to allocate one-off extra funding of HK$15 million to the Hong Kong Sports Institute to strengthen direct financial support for elite athletes. These additional resources would expand the elite squad and allow more athletes to train full time, a government spokesman said.

The government would also provide additional funding of HK$3 million annually to the institute to improve training for junior athletes.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing announced the decisions yesterday after a meeting of the commission, which advises the government on sports development.

Incentives for the Asian Games would also rise, with a gold medallist receiving HK$400,000 compared with HK$250,000 offered now, while silver and bronze medallists would get HK$200,000 and HK$100,000, up from HK$125,000 and HK$50,000 respectively.

Awards for Paralympics athletes would rise five-fold to HK$300,000 for gold medal winners, and silver and bronze medallists would receive HK$150,000 and HK$75,000, up from HK$24,000 and HK$12,000 respectively. The commission had objected to a proposal in May to raise the reward for gold medallists at the Paralympics to HK$500,000 - an increase of more than 800 per cent.

Wheelchair fencer Yu Chui-yee, who won gold last year in Beijing, said she welcomed the government's move to encourage the athletes, and she would not be disappointed with the less-than-proposed increase.

East Asian Games awards were doubled to HK$100,000, HK$40,000 and HK$20,000 in March for the three medals, respectively.

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The Sports Commission has raised cash incentives for medal-winning athletes

The number of gold medals Hong Kong athletes won at the Beijing Paralympics: 5