SQUASH player Tony Choi Yuk-kwan carved another niche in Hongkong sporting history when he became the first Sports Development Board-paid coaching director. The appointment, announced yesterday by SDB's Director of Development Services Mick Aitkin, is the first of three such positions funded by the board in a long term programme to raise the standard of Hongkong's sportsmen. Aitkin said: ''The SDB are now funding the employment of 78 national sports association staff, an increase from 55 just two years ago. ''We have also increased our funding for sports association staff from $8 million to $12 million and, for the first time ever, we are funding the employment of coaching directors. ''The 1993-94 year will see us funding three full-time and six part-time coaching directors and this figure will grow in the future.'' Choi, 25 tomorrow, achieved another first six years ago when he was awarded a scholarship by the Jubilee Sports Centre, now renamed the Hongkong Sports Institute. The 1990 Hongkong squash champion has had his scholarship extended annually since but, due to his new appointment, he has given up a monthly $4,700 allowance for being a full-time athlete. Choi said: ''This appointment is a great early birthday present for me, but I want to keep playing for Hongkong for at least another year or two. ''I think by that time players such as Sunny Poon Yat-sing, Dick Leung Kan-fai and Jackie Lee Chun-kit will have gained enough experience to take over my place. ''I have already surrendered my scholarship grant. It would be unfair for me to keep drawing the money since I cannot be a full-time player and the fund could be better used to finance younger up-and-coming talents. ''But as a non-financed scholarship athlete I am still given access to the facilities and medical care offered by the Institute. Choi's duties as a coaching director include administering all matters relating to coaching and coaching education with the exception of elite athlete development. He is based at the HKSI and will work closely with national coach Chris Clark. He said: ''The most important thing is to upgrade the standard of our coaches because there is no way we can develop good players without good coaches. ''This will be done at all levels as we'll organise refresher courses and seminars, and the coaches have to fulfil a 20-hour clinic to ensure they have the practical experience before getting their certificates. ''Those who remain active in the field will be given opportunities to develop a career.'' Choi added he will propose spreading the HKSI-based talent spotting programmes to regional centres. The scheme has unearthed all the national junior squad's players.