A good academic track record is more important than outstanding athletic performance when it comes to studying physical education, according to a sports science professor. 'Some students come to me and ask if they could be enrolled by patching up their academic results with an excellent sports performance. My answer is that talented athletes are not what we are looking for,' said Professor Stephen Wong Heung-sang of the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Established in 1994, the CUHK programme focuses on physical education in schools rather than training athletes, Professor Wong said, although squash queen Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin and triathlon star Daniel Lee Chi-wo are among the students he has taught. The curriculum is part theory, part practical. 'Many students have a superficial understanding of the pro gramme. Some of them felt it was strange they had to take theoretical courses.' He said the department had accepted many students who were not gifted athletes, but who were hard working and serious about studying. Students also had to demonstrate good ability in English and Chinese because many textbooks were not easy to understand, he said. There are a wide range of careers available to graduates, including teaching PE in schools, working in government departments and sports organisations. Professor Wong said all recent graduates had been successful in finding employment as teachers, recreation manag ers and corporate fitness instructors. 'In such a prosperous soci ety, who doesn't care about main taining their health?' Professor Wong said students who put the pro gramme in Band A when applying through the Joint University Pro grammes Admissions System and achieved excellent results in the HKCEE would be interviewed. The interview aimed to make sure students knew what they were choosing and introduce the course to them, he said. The Hong Kong Baptist University also offers courses in physical education and recreation management.