Compassionate leadership is key for candidates in 41st Student of the Year Awards, says Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO

  • Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges says nominees should show how they have helped build a better and stronger society
  • Along with the South China Morning Post, the Club will co-donate 240,000 e-copies of Young Post to students and educators taking part in this year’s competition
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Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (right) at last year’s Student of the Year Awards ceremony. Photo: SCMP

Throughout Hong Kong’s fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s students have been facing unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, the winners of the 41st Student of the Year (SOTY) Awards need to demonstrate compassionate leadership.

Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of Hong Kong Jockey Club, highlighted that the Club wanted to encourage young people to develop themselves in every respect – mind, body and heart.

He said: “The young people of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. And right now, we need compassionate leadership more than ever.”

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The importance of using your talent to contribute to society rings true with the theme of this year’s SOTY Awards, “Together we grow and achieve”.

Engelbrecht-Bresges added: “[The theme] echoes the Club’s vision strongly.

“We very much hope that the winners of SOTY, alumni and everyone taking part will join hands with us to build a better and stronger society.”

Even amid school closures and online learning because of the local outbreak, Hong Kong’s young people have still achieved so much.

“It is truly inspiring,” said the CEO, who added that the competition was a way for young people to show their tenacity and can-do spirit.

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This year’s SOTY Awards competition is organised by the South China Morning Post and sponsored by Hong Kong Jockey Club.

To help young people develop their English proficiency and critical thinking abilities, Hong Kong Jockey Club and the South China Morning Post will co-donate 240,000 e-copies of Young Post to more than 24,000 students and educators taking part in this year’s SOTY Awards.

Engelbrecht-Bresges explained that this new initiative would support pupils and teachers in their development – particularly in boosting their English abilities.

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“English is the international language of business, and with Hong Kong being one of the world’s most important business cities, English proficiency is absolutely essential,” he said, adding that the language could give students the chance to make new connections.

“English opens doors to other cultures ... It’s a huge benefit that will last you a lifetime.”

Nominations for the SOTY Awards, a total of 11 prizes across nine categories, have been extended to April 30.

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