HONG KONG women athletes are more successful at international level because they endure harder training, are more humble and believe in their ability to succeed. This was highlighted by Amy Chan Lim-chee, the former star badminton player who is now an administrator at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, during a conference session yesterday on gender issues in sports and exercises. The conference is an annual event organised by the HKU's Centre for Physical Education and Sport and the Physical Education and Sports Science Unit. Chan, showing figures that Hong Kong won a total of 13 medals at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, of which 10 came from women athletes, said: 'The top female athletes are willing to endure hard training and they are more humble. Men's attitudes change when they achieve something and immediately think they are stars and do not want to take advice. 'And because women sports are not as competitive, the girls can reach the top if they really have a strong wish to be good. 'They can more easily raise their standard by training with the men. 'Furthermore, in a traditional Chinese society men are under more pressure to support the family when they are in their late teens or early 20s and many had to give up high-level competitive sport.' While the top female athletes in Hong Kong are winning more medals than their male counterparts, there is a worldwide trend that more women quit sports in their late teens. Haywood Ip Hay-wood, the Sports Development Board's acting director of sports development, said a lot of parents and adolescent girls erroneously think sports is not ladylike. Dr Anita White, director of national services in British Sports Council, said many women believe that sport is for men. Dr Alison McManus, an assistant lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, suggested that sports should be promoted as a lifetime physical activity among girls. Mike Speak, the HKU's CPES director, said the intention of the conference was to bring to the attention of Hong Kong's sport and recreation authorities ideas and concepts that perhaps could be important to them. Speak said: 'We try to stimulate people like the SDB, the HKSI and the education authorities to look at issues that could be important for children and the people and do something about them.' Also speaking at the conference were Professor John Loy, a professor of sport and leisure studies at the University of Otago; Dr Veronica Pearson, a senior lecturer at the HKU; Dr Atara Sivan, a lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University; and Trisha Leahy, a sports psychologist at the HKSI.