1,200 elite CityU athletes champion excellence in academics and sports
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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) actively encourages students to pursue academic knowledge in the spirit of the “Six Arts” of Classical China (rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy and arithmetic) by actively immersing themselves in athletic, musical, and intellectual activities.
Through its Student Athletes Admissions Scheme (SAAS), a spirit of "excellence in both academics and sports” enables around 1,200 elite local and non-local athletes to fulfill their dreams and shine in sports competitions while simultaneously pursuing their studies.
Among the programme’s beneficiaries is tennis player Steve Ng Ho-yuen, a non-local student admitted through CityU’s Outstanding Athletes Admissions Scheme in 2019. Steve has represented Singapore since 2011, playing in international tournaments such as the Davis Cup and the Southeast Asian Games between 2012 and 2019. His highest world-ranking so far according to the Association of Tennis Professionals is 1,038th, recorded in August 2019.
Steve is currently a Year 3 Bachelor of Social Sciences (Asian and International Studies) student. The mainstay and current captain of our men's tennis team, he helped defend CityU’s championship title in the tennis tournament at the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong, China (USFHK) in 2020 where he was named Best Player. Steve is also an active member of CityU's Sports Ambassadors Programme, coaching the tennis team after school.
Also recruited through SAAS is Shirley Zhang Zhao, a national-level elite athlete currently studying for the Master of Science (Marketing). Prior to joining CityU, the former member of China’s national table tennis team player won the gold medal in the singles championship at the 2014 Asian Junior and in the U15 cadet championships at the 2015 National Junior Championships. She also placed 5th in the women's doubles at the Czech Open in 2017.
Shirley enthusiastically trains with CityU’s table tennis team, which she joined as its main player in 2021, helping her teammates improve their skills and better handle the pressures of competition. In October this year, Shirley and her team at CityU was the first runner-up at the Jackie Chan Challenge Cup.
As Hong Kong’s first university to introduce the concept of One Health, CityU has won seven out of 11 Grand Slams/overall championships in local sports leagues against 13 local tertiary education institutions over the last 15 years.
SAAS was established in 1997 to admit talented local athletes. Ms Grace Lau Mo-sheung, Hong Kong’s bronze medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics’ Karate Women’s Kata, was among the homegrown athletes admitted to CityU's academic programmes through SAAS. In 2014 and 2015, she received the USFHK Sportswoman of the Year award while pursuing her bachelor's degree at CityU.
In 2017, CityU extended the scheme to non-local students, providing an annual scholarship of up to HK$160,000 to each admitted non-local athlete while enriching local students’ international perspectives. In just five years, the programme has brought in 35 student athletes from 18 countries or regions in Europe, Asia, and Africa, awarding nearly HK$12 million in scholarships. These non-local athletes have been supporting CityU students, encouraging cultural exchanges, and giving the University's varsity teams fresh impetus.
In addition to scholarships, CityU helps outstanding athletes pursue their university education along with their athletic dreams through a variety of training programmes.
"CityU will continue to nurture outstanding young people who are well-versed in academics, sports and global perspectives,” said President Way Kuo, who embodies this spirit of multi-disciplinary excellence. He has led the CityU marathon team at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon for 12 consecutive years, except in 2020 because of Covid-19.
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