Eleven Hong Kong athletes have become the first to receive cash from the Hong Kong Athletes Fund - but Olympic gold medallist Lee Lai-shan was one of 16 whose applications were rejected. A total of $365,710 was handed out at Sports House yesterday for active or retired athletes pursuing under-graduate studies full or part-time. The fund was set up by the Government after Hong Kong's results at the Atlanta Olympics, and stands at $13 million. The first recipients included wheelchair fencer Ben Cheung Wai-leung, swimmer Vivian Lee, squash players Rebecca Chiu and Jackie Lee, and retired judo player Law Lai-wah. Triathlete Lee Chi-wo, disabled athlete Wong Chi-keung, squash players Chung Suet-mei and Choi Wing-yiu, soccer player Fung Ka-kei and fencer Lau Kwok-kin were also successful applicants. San San, who won windsurfing gold at Atlanta, met the criterion of a top-three place in at least an Asian championship. She is pursuing a sports management degree at the University of Canberra in Australia. Professor Frank Fu, chairman of the Sports Aid Committee (SAC), revealed her application had been rejected. 'There were a few who achieved the standards but were not successful,' said Fu. 'Lee Lai-shan is one example. 'She applied for tuition but her course is already paid up by the Sports Institute.' Fu said he was satisfied with the response to the scheme, which is in its first year. 'We had 27 applications and 11 successes. I'm quite happy with that. Hopefully, we will have more,' he said. The SAC will meet again in January to screen the second batch of applications. Fu added that the scheme allows athletes to gain academic qualifications for when they retire from sport. 'Hopefully, it is something that will encourage parents to support their children in sports, so that if they reach a certain standard they have something to fall back on when their careers have ended.'