First Snow Sports Team Formed in SubTropical Hong Kong
HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - April 4, 2018 - Following Hong Kong's first snow sports athlete, Arabella Ng, at Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Club Med and the Ski Association of Hong Kong have officially signed a four year partnership agreement, while announcing Hong Kong's first team with hopes of sending a squad to the next Winter Game in Beijing 2022 and beyond.
Members of the HK team train together for the first time in NE China at Club Med Yabuli with Goodwill Ambassadors Cindy Lee (centre) and Gilbert Lam (centre), the Secretary General of the HK Ski Association and Club Med executives
The partnership gives the Ski Association access to Club Med resorts and training facilities across the globe with the aim of growing snow sports participation in the city at elite and grassroots level.
The Ski Association of Hong Kong was formed in 2003 to promote the development of snow sports in Hong Kong. It has formulated a vision to send a multi-disciplinary team to Beijing in 2022 with plans to send some of the 14 newly-minted elite Hong Kong athletes to International Ski Federation and Asian Ski Federation competitions across the globe.
Each athlete, between 13 and 21, is assessed by the Ski Association of Hong Kong, some with the support of Club Med and ranked according to ability. The best are then selected for the national team with potential hope for a lifechanging participation at an elite level in their chosen disciplines from alpine skiing to snowboarding.
"The formation of a Hong Kong snow sports team has taken us 15 years of hard work. We are delighted with the selection of the first team to represent Hong Kong and the support of Club Med to make this a reality," said Edmund Yue, Chairman of the Ski Association of Hong Kong. "These young people have dreams and aspirations to be great! The best way to improve is to love their sport and stick to it. With the Club Med partnership, we are fulfilling their dreams, and daring to dream of an Olympic journey and beyond! The most important thing now is for the team just to do what they love, learning and having fun every day."
Club Med, the leader in Premium All-Inclusive snow holidays across the globe, estimates that around 200,000 to 300,000 Hongkongers head to a winter destination every year, making it one of the highest per capita participation rates in the world.
Sebastien Portes, General Manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: "In a city that has no snow or mountains, we are excited to be at the start of the journey of these young athletes. With so many skiers and snowboarders, we are looking forward to supporting the best athletes who will represent Hong Kong."
"This partnership is a natural fit for Club Med as we nurture these young talents on their journey. We have a growing portfolio of 23 snow resorts in five countries from Hokkaido to the Alps, one of the world's largest ski schools, and access to a challenging variety of terrain for the Hong Kong team to train on, including former and future Olympic sites,' he added.
The four year partnership between the Ski Association of Hong Kong and Club Med gives:
- Access for the Hong Kong team and instructors to Club Med faciltiies, equipment, meals and ski passes across the globe twice a year
- Exclusive access to facilities and preferential rates for four Hong Kong interschool trips which will be used to identify future talents
- Ski uniform logo sponsorship
- Support for the assessment to any future athlete for the Hong Kong team
The creation of the Interschools trips supported by Club Med have also been designed to serve the Hong Kong snow sports community with progressive training with involvement from professional coaches. The Interschools group teaches the children to master the fundamentals, learn the insights of advance techniques, while recognizing each player is on their own elite journey, with the best talent identified for future international competition on the Hong Kong team.
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Hong Kong's Inaugural Snow Sports Team
Arabella Ng, 16, Silver
Audrey King, 15, Silver
Alexandra Tse, 13, Silver
Andrea Cheng, 13, Silver
Emma Huang, 20, Silver
Chloe Cornu-Wong, 13, Silver
Jerome Wong, 16, Gold
Jeremy Wong, 13, Silver
Lucas Ng, 14, Silver
Matthew Lee, 14, Bronze
Otto Yuji Leung, 12, Bronze
James Wu, 12, Bronze
David Leung, 13, Bronze
Nathan Leung, 13, Bronze
Jack Archer, 14, Silver
Authors: Club Med