I believe most people of my generation have played rope skipping when they were in primary school. In those days, rope skipping was merely a leisure activity for kids.

But now it is recognised as a proper sport, one that is flourishing in Hong Kong, and whose skippers have scored remarkable results in international competitions.

As the saying goes, a good wine needs no bush, meaning there’s no need to boast about it. Hong Kong’s rope skipping athletes started to gain public and media attention after they set new records and achieved creditable results representing the HKSAR.  For example, when the Hong Kong Rope Skipping Team claimed success in the World Rope Skipping Championships in Shanghai, there was extensive news coverage about the team winning the titles of champion, first and second runner-up in the Male Team Overall and taking the crown in the group contest. At the same time, however, the media reported the team’s off-stage financial difficulties: every single athlete and supporting staff member had to pay over HK$13,000 in order to be in the contest. The Hong Kong Rope Skipping Association is now seeking funds for the athletes to take part in future competitions.

Providing subsidies for sport is really a chicken and egg issue. When resources are limited, we can only support a hen which can lay eggs instead of one that hatches an egg. The current mechanism of selecting elite sports was in fact developed 20 years ago. Now, the Government is strengthening support for elite sports, including injecting HK$6 billion more into the Elite Athletes Development Fund to bring the total to HK$13 billion. So there is much room to improve the mechanism of selection and sponsorship of elite sports and sportsmen and women  to ensure better use of limited resources and benefit more athletes.

(Article originally posted on Lion Rock Daily on 9 August 2018)