By Paul Osborne

The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong led a presentation Ceremony to honour athletes who have worked to develop their English language skills ©Getty ImagesThe Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has continued to support the promotion of English language to all its athletes with a special presentation ceremony held in Times Square, Causeway Bay, for those continuing to enhance their skills.

With the aim of enhancing the English language skills of Hong Kong athletes, the Federation joined with Englishtown, one of the largest online English schools, to provide over 567 Integrated General English Courses to athletes since 2007.

The total cost of the sponsorship so far has been worth over HKD$8.8 million (£668,000/$1.14 million/€837,000) and a total of 126 athletes have benefitted.

The presentation Ceremony was led by the Hong Kong Athletes Career & Education Programme (HKACEP), an initiative that aims to "nurture confident, well respected competitive world class sports talents to be the role models of youth, through the provision of support to these athletes on education, career development and life skills training."

Special guests at the Ceremony included Victor Hui, vice-president of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee and chairman of the HKACEP Committee, Pang Chung, honorary secretary general of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee and vice-chairman of the HKACEP Committee, Sam Cheung, President of Englishtown in Greater China, and Sheldom Leung, senior centre manager of Englishtown.

At the presentation, held at the Englishtown office in Times Square, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee and Englishtown issued certificates to 10 outstanding athletes in recognition of their efforts to improve their English in their spare time.

Football player Chow Ka Wa made the biggest progress since joining the programme four years ago, rising from elementary stage, Level 3, to upper intermediate stage, Level 10.

Speaking at the Ceremony, Hui thanked Englishtown for their support through these courses.

"Most athletes miss the opportunity for further education due to intensive training programmes and competitions," he said. 

"Englishtown's Integrated General English Courses has the flexibility to fit in athletes' busy schedules.

"Athletes can access Englishtown's online learning platform and continue their English learning regardless of their location or time zone.

"We believe that learning English will be a key factor for athletes' transition to their future career."

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