Top-flight English team Arsenal celebrated its first match in Hong Kong in 17 years with a 2-2 draw with local champions Kitchee in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust Challenge Cup. About 42,000 people watched the match at the Hong Kong Stadium today (29 July).
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing, Kichee Foundation Chairman Ken Ng and Arsenal FC Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis presented the trophy to two teams.
The Challenge Cup was created this year to commemorate the partnership between the Club and Kitchee and as a celebratory event to mark the HKSAR’s 15th Anniversary.
The partnership was integral with the Club’s long-term efforts to support local football development. The Trust donated over HK$44 million to fund a new youth football training facility, the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre, to provide a suitable, long-term multi-purpose venue for youth football training.
To ensure world-class training standards, Kitchee currently employs two full-time Technical Directors of Youth Development who formerly worked with FC Barcelona. The Centre will also provide facilities for the Education Bureau-approved Professional Footballer Preparatory Programme at the Yan Chai Hospital Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School. These programmes are open to all Hong Kong young people during their football-formative years with no restrictions on their affiliation with teams, clubs or districts.
The Trust’s donation will cover approximately 90% of the costs of setting up the HK$49 million Centre, with the remaining 10% to be raised by Kitchee Foundation, including the surplus generated from the game with Arsenal and the gala dinner.
The Club has been a staunch supporter of local football development over the years, including the reconstruction of the Hong Kong Stadium and the recent Jockey Club Youth Football Development Programme, providing football training to more than 10,000 young people from across the city's 18 districts for three years. The Club is also supporting a three-year training programme, the Jockey Club Elite Youth Football Camp.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is not only one of the world's leading horse racing organisations but also a world top 15 charitable organisation and Hong Kong’s largest community contributor, donating HK$1.6 billion in 2011. It is also a major taxpayer, Hong Kong's single largest by far, generating over HK$15 billion a year for public funds. The Club pioneers technology applications for sporting and betting entertainment, striving for the highest levels of customer service. As a membership club, it is recognised as one of Asia’s most prestigious, with more than 23,000 members. These multifaceted roles make it a well-respected and remarkable organisation, dedicated to its mission of enhancing the quality of life for all Hong Kong people.
Link to Youth Football Development website
Photos 1/2: <br> The Club’s Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (Photo 1 back row 9th right), Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing (Photo 2 back row 8th right), Kichee Foundation Chairman Ken Ng (Photo 2 back row 6th right) and and Arsenal FC Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis (Photo 1 back row 7th right), present the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust Challenge Cup to Arsenal and Kitchee, witnessed by 42,000 soccer fans at the Hong Kong Stadium.
The Club’s Charities Trust has donated over HK$44 million to establish the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre, covering approximately 90% of the costs of setting up the Centre, with the remaining 10% to be raised by Kitchee Foundation, including the surplus generated from the game with Arsenal and the gala dinner.