Hong Kong: HSBC and the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) have launched the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, an expanded and enhanced version of the HKGA’s current junior development programme.
The existing programme offers a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage.
The HSBC-backed initiative includes the HSBC Golf For Schools programme and an annual match between the top juniors from Hong Kong and their counterparts in China.
The HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme complements the junior golf development activity HSBC undertakes in mainland China and cements the bank’s role as one of the biggest supporters of junior golf development in Greater China.
Peter Wong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Asia-Pacific of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, was at the SKH St James’ Primary School in Wan Chai and joined in with the kids to experience the HSBC Golf For Schools programme first hand.
Wong said: “At HSBC we pride ourselves on not just sponsoring some of the biggest golf tournaments worldwide, but also on our genuine and long-standing commitment to the growth and development of golf amongst youngsters. Therefore, it’s with great excitement that we’re able to launch the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme.
“The HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme will provide a sustainable, robust platform for kids of all ages and abilities to get involved with the fantastic sport of golf.
“Furthermore, as a major supporter of golf across the region, we plan to integrate this new programme with our other relevant golf sponsorships to build a close connection between junior golf and the professional game, offering fantastic learning and playing opportunities for our junior golfers involved in the scheme. In particular, we’re looking at ways to integrate our Hong Kong and China junior programmes for the benefit of all the kids involved.”
Ning Li, HKGA President, said: “We are thrilled to welcome HSBC on board as partners in this hugely exciting HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme. Having such a blue-chip sponsor, with such experience in golf at all levels, is a massive boost to the development of the junior game here in Hong Kong.
“It enables us to rapidly expand the scale of the programme, get more kids into golf and provide some incredible opportunities for our top juniors.
“The ultimate aim for all of us is to see more local young talent progress all the way through the programme and go on to achieve success at an international level, exactly as Tiffany Chan has done by breaking into the top-10 of the world amateur rankings.
“With HSBC as our new financial partner, along with the support of our car partner Mercedes-Benz, our golf clubs, The R&A and our other sponsors, we could not be better placed to deliver further success.”
As part of the launch event, over 100 children from SKH St James’ Primary School and other local schools got their first taste of golf through the HSBC Golf For Schools Programme, where they participated in a ShortGolf class, comprising easy-to-play putting and hitting games.
Tom Phillips, CEO of the HKGA, said: “HSBC Golf For Schools is intended to be affordable and accessible for children of all backgrounds. For those children who are inspired by the ShortGolf experience, we then offer a pathway into the sport, starting with a series of coaching clinics at golf courses and driving ranges across Hong Kong.
“We’ve got a number of local primary schools signed up to the HSBC Golf For Schools programme already, with St James’ Primary becoming the ninth school to join the scheme. Our aim is to reach 15 schools and more than 300 children in year one, laying a foundation on which to build in subsequent years.”