A new batch of 42 students from various tertiary institutions were awarded the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships this year for their outstanding academic performance and commitment to serve the community, while 31 earlier Jockey Club Scholars graduated to embark on a new page of life. Since their inception in 1998, the HKJC Scholarships have been awarded to more than 600 talented local and Mainland students to pursue their studies.
The HKJC Scholarships provide financial aid and development opportunities to a wide range of tertiary students in Hong Kong, covering not only undergraduate students, but also postgraduate and vocational education students as well as students with special education needs. This reflects the Club’s commitment of nurturing local talent and supporting the Scholars’ journey to become leaders of the community.
At the 2019 Presentation Ceremony and Graduation Celebration Dinner held last night (4 July), Club Chairman Dr Anthony W K Chow was joined by keynote speaker, Founder of Esperanza John Tsang, the Club’s Stewards Philip N L Chen, Dr Eric Li Ka Cheung, Margaret Leung, Silas S S Yang, Richard Tang Yat Sun, Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and representatives from the participating tertiary institutions.
Congratulating the graduating scholars and new recipients, Dr Chow said the cohorts of Jockey Club Scholars over the years demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence, as well as applied their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others. “Over the past 20 years, the Jockey Club Scholars have distinguished themselves not only academically, but also through their leadership qualities and community commitment,” he said. “Talent exists in every part of our community. So too does the desire to contribute and give back. So it is only right and proper that we should support the full diversity of learning needs so that all students can achieve their potential and give their best.”
Mr Tsang told the students and guests that the “fourth industrial revolution” was bringing massive upheavals and drastic changes to the way we lived, learned and worked. “We are confronting the largest transformation of our civilisation. Even the meaning of being human will be questioned. Let us prepare our young generation properly to meet the challenges of the 21st Century,” he urged.
The 42 new Scholars are studying at the eight UGC-funded tertiary institutions and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). Among them is Tsz-lok, who is pursuing a Social Science degree at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Tsz-lok lost his eyesight due to illness when he was 15 years old. Nevertheless, he has stayed positive and embraced the challenges. By participating in musical performances and other activities, Tsz-lok said he would like to spread the message that nothing was impossible, and the disabled could do the same as ordinary people. He looks forward to broadening his horizons through the HKJC Scholarships programme and encouraging more people to overcome difficulties in their lives.
Graduating JC Scholar John Ho, a musician at the West Kowloon Cultural District’s Xiqu Centre and a graduate from the HKAPA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Chinese Opera, said having been awarded an HKJC Scholarship was a great honour to him and has made him more determined to pursue excellence in Chinese Opera. Ho added that The Jockey Club Scholars Alumni Association allowed him to connect with the JC Scholars and community leaders from all walks of life. The friendships earned and the network built will be great assets in his life.
To date, the Club has contributed a total of some HK$400 million to the Scholarships through its Charities Trust. In addition to recognising undergraduates studying at the eight UGC-funded tertiary institutions and HKAPA, the scheme has been expanded to benefit undergraduate students with special educational needs from the nine institutions, as well as 18 students in vocational education programmes pursuing a higher diploma or an overseas bachelor’s degree. Another six graduates each year are given the opportunity to join postgraduate programmes at the University of Oxford or Harvard University, two of the world’s top universities.
To continue and strengthen the bonds among its Scholars, the Club has established The Jockey Club Scholars Alumni Association, through which a wide range of social service opportunities are organised. A Scholarship Secretariat has also been set up to provide the Scholars with opportunities for learning and personal development. They can interact with local leaders and be inspired to become compassionate leaders who care about social needs.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charity and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2017/18, the Club made a record return to the Government of HK$22.6 billion in duty and profits tax and contributed HK$1.2 billion to the Lotteries Fund. Approved charity donations were HK$4.2 billion. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.
Club Chairman Dr Anthony W K Chow said the cohorts of Jockey Club Scholars over the years demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence, as well as applied their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others.
Club Chairman Dr Anthony W K Chow (right) presents a souvenir to keynote speaker John Tsang (left). The souvenir, created by one of the graduated JC Scholars Polly Lau, is made of neon light tube and inspired by the symbol of this year’s HKJC Scholarships.
Pictured with this year’s new Scholars are Club Chairman Dr Anthony W K Chow (first row, 7th right), keynote speaker John Tsang (first row, 7th left), Club Stewards Philip N L Chen (second row, 7th left), Dr Eric Li Ka Cheung (second row, 7th right), Margaret Leung (second row, 6th left), Silas S S Yang (second row, 6th right), Richard Tang Yat Sun (second row, 5th left), Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges (first row, 6th left), and representatives from the participating tertiary institutions and members of the Club’s Board of Management.